Supreme Court term to begin with arguments by telephone
When the Supreme Court begins its new term in October, it will once again be holding proceedings via teleconference as a precautionary measure due to the coronavirus pandemic.
While the court building will be open for official business, the public will not be allowed in, and oral arguments will all be done remotely for all cases being heard next month, as was the practice for May’s arguments.
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“The Court will continue to closely monitor public health guidance in determining plans for the November and December argument sessions,” a Supreme Court press release said.
Live audio feeds of the arguments will be made available to the public, with recordings and transcripts made available afterward.
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The remote, audio-only format led to another change that was intriguing for Supreme Court followers. To maintain order, justices took turns in order when asking questions during oral arguments. As a result, Justice Clarence Thomas — who is notorious for being silent on the bench — was more vocal than usual.
Oral arguments for the upcoming term are currently scheduled for Oct. 5, 6, 7, 13 and 14. Twelve cases are set to be heard on those dates. The next argument day after then is Nov. 2.