/ June 2, 2008

An Honorable Blogger

There is no question that the face of the blogger is changing and the newest addition may be the most surprising yet. Judge Nancy Gertner, who sits for the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, is rather progressive in her belief that blogging is nothing more than a vehicle for publishing thoughts once only shared in books. As any judge would, she stands firm in her decision to contribute to the blog, Convictions, a new production of Slate magazine. Gertner believes the transition from book to blog is a natural and necessary one for everyone including other judges. Blogs, she explains can provide an outlet for members of the judicial system to explain the obligations of their duty.

While there are several limitations on judges participating, it is still worthwhile and valuable to take part in such an activity. Due to the strict rules outlined in Judicial Codes of Conduct, judges must beware that they are not writing anything that might disqualify them from cases or make them appear anything but unbiased. Although the same rules apply when authoring a book, the controversy over blogging deals more with the ease and lack of discretion that is typically associated with the posts. Rather than ruling out the possibility of judges or other notable figures becoming regular bloggers, they should follow Gertner’s lead by ensuring all posts are properly edited before ever reaching the pages of the internet.

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