In yet another blow to openness of our courts, a Federal judge has ruled that Twittering (or Tweeting, or whatever the proper verb is) from the courtroom is a form of "broadcast" that is prohibited by Rule 53. In other words, although our courts are open to the public, and the press is permitted to view and report on the proceedings, in Federal court at least, observers cannot give real-time reports on the development of a trial from their seats in the courtroom. I can understand prohibiting jurors from sending and receiving Tweets. But to prohibit the press or other observers in the courtroom from using a non-invasive means of telling the world what is happening in an open trial seems contrary to our value of open courts, and with little reason that I can see. Certainly the prohibition of broadcast cameras in the courtroom are understandable, as they can change the demeanor of lawyers, witnesses, and judges who may ham it up for the camera, but no such danger exists with respect to tweets, texts, or blog posts. Rather, these are simply the same medium of transmitting information about trials that have existed for decades - the written word. The only difference is the manner in which the words is recorded (pen and paper vs keyboard) and speed in which the words are delivered.