@SupremeCourtGA, twitter account screenshot.
@SupremeCourtGA, twitter account screenshot. ()

The Supreme Court of Georgia has officially joined the appellate Twitterverse.

Perhaps the high court was inspired by the chatty Twitter feed of Stephen Dillard, chief justice of the Georgia Court of Appeals, who has 10,600 followers and is the Georgia courts’ unofficial but inarguable Tweeter-in-Chief, and whose beloved rescue dog, Irish, even has her own Twitter feed. Or maybe it was the advent of Hurricane Irma’s still tropical force storm winds that were sweeping toward Atlanta when the state high court sent its first tweet Sunday—that the Supreme Court would be closed Monday and Tuesday.

Or maybe the justices were simply coveting their own highly desirable #AppellateTwitter coffee mugs.

Said Supreme Court Chief Justice Harris Hines in a news release the high court posted on its newly minted Twitter feed on Tuesday: “People often look to Twitter to keep up with the latest breaking news, and this is a step toward making the state’s highest court more accessible and transparent.” The Supreme Court’s Twitter handle is @SupremeCourtGA.

The high court will use Twitter to announce newly published opinions and summaries, press releases, summaries of cases coming up for oral argument and other news. The public information office will maintain the account.

By early Wednesday afternoon, the Supreme Court had announced it was once again open for business, posting newly released opinions on its Twitter feed, which had already garnered 40 followers. One of them was Dillard, who was at home in Macon without power following Irma’s passage and was fast running out of juice. Nonetheless, Dillard issued a formal Twitter “Welcome” to the high court shortly after he was contacted by the Daily Report. Within minutes of Dillard’s “Welcome” tweet, the number of high court followers began accelerating at a rate of about one new follower a minute and within an hour had more than doubled and was fast closing in on 100.

Said Dillard (via Twitter, of course): “For many years, the Supreme Court of Georgia has led the way in being accessible and transparent in its operations. I am pleased to see my friends on the high court use social media as yet another way to educate the public on the important role the Supreme Court plays in Georgia’s tripartite system of government.”