Supreme Court

Supreme Court Postpones Oral Arguments Due to COVID-19

Like many federal appellate courts, the Supreme Court is putting arguments on hold.

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

This morning, the Supreme Court issued the following press release:

In keeping with public health precautions recommended in response to COVID-19, the Supreme Court is postponing the oral arguments currently scheduled for the March session (March 23-25 and March 30-April 1).  The Court will examine the options for rescheduling those cases in due course in light of the developing circumstances.

The Court will hold its regularly scheduled Conference on Friday, March 20. Some Justices may participate remotely by telephone. The Court will issue its regularly scheduled Order List on Monday, March 23 at 9:30 a.m. The list will be posted on the Court's Website at that time: https://www.supremecourt.gov/orders/ordersofthecourt/19.

The Building will continue to be open for official business, and filing deadlines are not extended under Rule 30.1. The Court is expanding remote working capabilities to reduce the number of employees in the Building, consistent with public health guidance. The Building will remain closed to the public until further notice.

The Court's postponement of argument sessions in light of public health concerns is not unprecedented.  The Court postponed scheduled arguments for October 1918 in response to the Spanish flu epidemic.  The Court also shortened its argument calendars in August 1793 and August 1798 in response to yellow fever outbreaks.

Tom Goldstein has background on how the Court has responded to other crises here.

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  1. Ruth Bader Ginsburg needs to be very worried about the Wuhan Virus — in addition to whatever ongoing treatment she may be having for cancer, she’s had part of her lungs removed and hence is at high risk for any respiratory illness.

  2. I wonder if there will be any experiments in having oral argument via video conferencing. Some administrative agencies already do this as a matter of routine.

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