If you head down to D.C. Superior Court on any given weekday, you can walk into a courtroom, watch a trial and take as many notes as you want. But if you pull out your smart phone and start tweeting away, a U.S. Marshal will likely approach and remind you that those 140-character updates are verboten, as is any type of electronic recording.
That policy extends to many courts around the country, but as the AP reports today, civil liberties advocates are pushing for judges to lighten up on courtroom tweeting:
“We’re troubled by this ban,” said Ed Yohnka, Chicago spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union. Tweeting and social media are “merely the 21st century version of what reporters have always done — gather information and disseminate it.”
Judges, he said, should embrace Twitter as a way to shed light on the judicial process, which, for many Americans, remains shrouded in mysterious ritual.
Some judges, though, aren’t enamored with the idea — a courtroom full of people staring at their phones could disturb the proceedings.
[Continue reading Martin Austermuhle’s post at DCist.com.]