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Twitter, Facebook, Huh? Justice Roberts Talks Social Media

By Tanya Roth, Esq. on June 30, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Does the use of social media undermine the credibility of the U.S. Supreme Court?

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Roberts spoke about the use of Facebook and Twitter among the Nine at the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Judicial Conference last Saturday. At the conference, which was covered by CSPAN, Justice Roberts talked about the inner workings of the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Fourth Circuit judicial conference took place in White Sulphur Springs in West Virginia last weekend.

But in a digital media age and when some Federal Courts of Appeal are offering high-tech options such as remote en banc viewings, it was expected that there would be some discussion on the use of social media tools and technology by the U.S. Supreme Court justices.

During the conference, Justice Roberts discussed the use of cameras in the United States Supreme Court. The Chief Justice said that it was unlikely that there would be cameras allowed in SCOTUS, as he was concerned about the impact on lawyers and judges.

Justice Roberts mentioned that he does not believe any of his colleagues tweet or use Facebook regularly. He also said that he discourages Supreme Court clerks from tweeting, reports Huffington Post, as the judicial clerks might unintentionally reveal confidences online.

[Sidebar: If Justice Roberts is this resistant to a technology first introduced in modern form in the late 1880s, it should come as no surprise he is not eager to befriend Facebook, Twitter and other forms of new tech and media.]

While Justice Roberts said that he didn't believe his colleagues to have a Facebook account, it has been reported that Justice Breyer has a Twitter account, which he created to follow the 2010 Iranian revolution. It has also been reported that Justice Breyer has alluded to a private Facebook account to keep tabs on his kids.

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