To broaden public access, the Florida Supreme Court has begun using Twitter as a means of distributing information about newsworthy events, such as filings in high-profile cases pending in the court.
The Twitter account can be found at http://twitter.com/flcourts and will be used to link followers with new information posted on the court’s website about events and cases.
The Florida Supreme Court operates one of the first judicial websites in the world, dating back to a small collection of pages placed online in 1994. By 1996, the court was pioneering the use of its website to release court opinions and other newsworthy materials directly to the public in real time, a practice that now is standard procedure for courts throughout the nation.
This particular use of the website garnered worldwide attention in 2000 during the Bush v. Gore cases in Florida, when journalists on the ground in Tallahassee found they had a harder time obtaining copies of state Supreme Court documents than their colleagues sitting at computers in places as far away as New York, Tokyo, and Moscow.
While the website will remain the court’s primary vehicle for pushing Supreme Court documents out to the world, the Twitter account is expected to greatly increase the reach and speed of notifications that those documents are available.
The Twitter account also can be accessed via an icon on the Supreme Court’s website.