While the US Supreme Court has not yet ruled on the constitutionality of Obamacare, the high court has decided that live-tweeting oral arguments is a violation of the long-standing electronic communications policy. Yesterday, Casey Mattox, the senior counsel for the right-wing Alliance Defense Fund, decided to provide live updates related to the healthcare proceedings on his Twitter feed. However, the court marshal’s office promptly informed Mattox that he was violating court policies and “asked” him to immediately cease electronic communications via Twitter.
Although Mattox was not within 400-seat courtroom, he was a visitor to the overflow lawyers’ room. The lawyers’ room, which is reserved for active members of the Supreme Court Bar, prohibits the use of electronic devices and cell phones. According to Kathy Arberg, the Supreme Court spokeswoman, the lawyers’ lounge has two signs clearly communicating that electronic devices are prohibited and gives visitors the option to check their personal belongings.
In order to “maintain decorum and limit the influence of the media on what lawyers and the justices say,” visitors to the US Supreme Court are only allowed to have a pen or pencil and paper. Do you feel that this rule is outdated and live updates should be allowed or do the limitations on electronic devices help preserve the sanctity of the courtroom and the judicial process?
[Sources Include: Reuters]