The Florida Supreme Court became one of the first courts in the world to air its proceedings live on Facebook.
“Florida Supreme Court oral arguments are being streamed on Facebook Live for the first time in our history, and are believed to be the first appellate arguments on Facebook Live anywhere in the U.S.,” the state’s high court tweeted Wednesday.
Florida Supreme Court oral arguments are being streamed on Facebook Live for the first time in our history, and are believed to be the first appellate arguments on Facebook Live anywhere in the U.S. https://t.co/ecffp2tcXD pic.twitter.com/VEoXNYciCd— FloridaSupremeCourt (@flcourts) February 7, 2018
The Florida Supreme Court announced late last month it would begin streaming oral arguments on Facebook Live, which marked its latest move to take advantage of social media after joining Twitter nearly a decade ago and Facebook in 2016.
The court also has a podcast series called “Beyond the Bench,” which aired its first episode last year.
“In the 1970s, Florida became the first state to allow broadcasts of its court cases at a time when every other court in the nation refused it,” Jorge Labarga, the chief justice of the Florida Supreme Court, said last month. “This court’s experiment with transparency showed everyone a better way to balance First Amendment rights against the rights of people involved in a trial of appeal. Social media will be our next step in moving this highly successful model of openness into the 21st Century.”
The Florida Supreme Court has allowed TV cameras in the courtroom since 1975, and it began broadcasting its own proceedings in 1997.
Several federal appeals courts have started livestreaming audio or video of oral arguments.
The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals announced in December it would livestream audio of oral arguments upon request.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals currently streams live audio and video of oral arguments, and the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals granted C-SPAN permission to livestream audio of oral arguments in the case challenging President Trump’s travel ban.
The U.S. Supreme Court, meanwhile, doesn’t livestream proceedings, and audio recordings of oral arguments are released to the public at the end of each week they take place.