Citing its "unique position in the American judicial system," the Supreme Court announced Friday it would consider ways to make its opinions more readily accessible to the public by distributing them via computer.

James R. Donovan, the court's director of data systems, invited news wires, legal publishers and legal research data base providers to submit proposals outlining how they would handle the electronic distribution of the court's decisions.The court, a bastion of tradition, has been reluctant to enter the computer age. It was not until 1981 that the justices switched from typewriters to word processors for writing their opinions.

Currently, the only way members of the public may obtain an opinion on the day of its release is to go to the court and pick one up.