“SCOTUSblog” offers online resources more comprehensive than those offered by the court itself, which makes it crucial even for individuals who work within the court. It also includes features such as “In Plain English,” which breaks down the court’s rhetoric for public consumption. In many cases, the court refers questions it receives to “SCOTUSblog.”
While “SCOTUSblog” currently enjoys a position as the top authority on Supreme Court news, co-founder Tom Goldstein acknowledges the “fraught” relationship the blog has with the judiciary branch.
“We’re not recognized by the court. It does not give us a press pass,” Goldstein said. “On the other hand, it tries very hard to make it possible for us to do our job.”
Their job could change soon, as the movement of government materials online becomes inevitable.
In the years to come, the court may follow the example of the country’s other federal courts and file its briefs electronically. Currently, only “SCOTUSblog” posts the briefs online. Goldstein says he also believes that eventually television crews will be permitted inside the court.
“We’re filling a niche in a gap in time,” Goldstein observed, referring to the distance between a public whose demands are for digital immediacy and a court that still follows old traditions.
Goldstein is not worried about the future of “SCOTUSblog” if the Supreme Court website supplants some of its features in the future. As Wesson also points out, blogs are among the most adaptable of mediums.
“We try to be aware of whatever it is our readers are doing, and we want to go there,” Wesson said.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.