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Dec 19, 2011

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Two of the issues that I've frequently written on this blog and elsewhere are jurors' use of social media and the Internet, and public access to court proceedings, including cameras in courtrooms.

I've been interviewed on both of these topics in the past few days.

On Friday, the Legal Talk Network posted the latest "Lawyer2Lawyer" podcast, in which I joined Professor of Law at Chicago-Kent College of Law professor Nancy Marder to discuss the current debate over cameras in the U.S. Supreme Court, including calls for the arguments over the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (often pejoratively referred to as "Obamacare"). Professor Marder, a former law clerk to U.S. Supreme Justice John Paul Stevens, opposes cameras in the Supreme Court, while I'm generally in favor (although that is my personal opinion, not that of the Reynolds National Center for Courts and Media). She ably argued her side, but I felt a sorry for her since the show's co-hosts, J. Craig Williams and Bob Ambrogi, were clearly in favor of cameras.

Today, the Pew Center for the States' stateline.org site published an article on the dilemma posted to the courts by jurors' online media use. The article stems in part from the decision earlier this month by the Arkansas Supreme Court overturning a murder conviction, in part because of a tweeting juror. I am quoted in the article making a point I have made before on this blog and elsewhere: besides telling jurors not to use the Internet and social media, the courts also have to explain the rationale behind these restrictions.

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