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SCOTUS is Going Digital

On August 3, the Supreme Court issued a press release that its long-awaited electronic filing system will be going online in November. According to the release, the new system will make “virtually all new filings” available for free online. This change comes in the wake of the Supreme Court’s rollout of its updated website, which launched on July 28.

Initially, official filing of documents will continue to be paper based, but parties represented by counsel will also be required to file electronic versions of their documents through the new system. Documents from pro se parties will be scanned and uploaded by the Court itself.

The Supreme Court has been hesitant to adopt new technology (the federal court CM/ECF system has been around since 2001, after all, and it took the Court three years to actually implement a filing system after announcing its intentions to do so in 2014), but this change will bring the Supreme Court in line with the Courts of Appeals and District Courts. One wonders if, should this new system prove successful, the Supreme Court will more readily adopt other growing trends in the lower courts, such as live-streaming oral arguments.  For an interesting (and colorful) discussion of both the pros and cons of live streaming, including the thoughts of certain Justices, see here.

If you have thoughts on the new system, the Court’s new website, or technology you’d like to see them adopt, leave them below!

–Zack Dawson

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