Tales from the Trail

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Breyer on Twitter

The U.S. Supreme Court does not have an official Twitter account, but this just in — Justice Stephen Breyer is on Twitter and Facebook. But he is not revealing details of arguments or rulings.

USA-COURT/He told a congressional hearing on the Supreme Court’s budget that he has a Twitter account because of his interest in the protests in Iran after the 2009 presidential election. Twitter represented one of the best ways of learning what was happening in that country.

Since then, Breyer said he has received requests to follow him on Twitter, but has turned them down. The same applies to Facebook.

“It’s probably not a good idea,” he said of making public comments on social media sites. Breyer said judges generally should be anonymous and that he only communicates with his children through Twitter and Facebook.

At the hearing, Congressman Steve Womack, a Republican from Arkansas, brought up the issue of social media and asked whether the justices can tweet if they wanted to.

U.S. Supreme Court turns to question of beaches and hot dogs

WEATHER KATRINAFor all practical purposes, it was like a day at the beach for the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday as the justices considered Florida’s program to bring in sand to save miles of eroding shorelines.

A lawyer for six homeowners in Florida’s Walton County argued the program resulted in a strip of state-owned sand between their property and the Gulf of Mexico, depriving them of their exclusive beach access and violating their rights.

The homeowners want the state to pay them undetermined compensation for the “taking” of their property. But some of the court’s liberals appeared skeptical of the argument.