High court’s high-tech move much appreciated

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 13, 2001

Tuesday, February 13, 2001

The Natchez Democrat

It’s not often we applaud the Mississippi Supreme Court before

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they take action on an issue. But this week is an exception.

The state’s high court is about to go high-tech.

The court is poised to begin posting oral arguments on the

Internet before the summer arrives. The move will make the court

the first in the nation to do so. Pretty impressive stuff.

And we think it’s a great move.

For some time now, the Supreme Court has published its decisions

on its Web site, but the new move will offer more access to the

public and, we hope, it will offer voters a better understanding

of the court system.

Though rarely as dramatic as Hollywood filmmakers would have

us believe, the functions of highest judicial branch are vital

for our state government to flow smoothly.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Ed Pittman deserves credit for

helping make the new changes a reality.

We hope that the Supreme Court’s latest move will be one step

toward changing those laws too. Currently all cameras are forbidden

from state trial and appellate courts.

Allowing cameras in the courts would provide increased accountability

on the part of the attorneys and the judges.

The recent election debacle in Florida may have given some

folks a new take on the old cameras in the court argument. For

years the court system has been shrouded in secret for many people

who are unable to leave their homes and jobs to actually sit in

the courtrooms.

Forward thinking judges such as Pittman are making sure that

the public isn’t cheated out of knowing firsthand what’s going

on inside the courtroom.