As the  U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday struggled with old rules governing where injured consumers can sue the companies whose products harmed them, Justice Samuel Alito Jr. offered perhaps the understatement of the year by saying, “But the world in 2020 is different.”

Alito, of course, was not referring to the pandemic and other crises that have marked this extraordinary year. Instead, he explained, “We’re in a strange situation here. We are applying a 1945 standard adopted by the court when it put on its fair play hat as we understood the world in 1945. But the world in 2020 is different.”

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