The Volokh Conspiracy

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Volokh Conspiracy

Oral Arguments at the Supreme Court with no spectators

Will SCOTUS adopt "social distancing"?


The Supreme Court chamber holds (by my count) about 200 people. Currently, the Court has twelve oral argument days remaining on the schedule. The Supreme Court very well may consider some form of "social distancing." That is, holding oral arguments without spectators. (The NBA is already moving in that direction.)

The Court could select minimum essential personnel. The Court would admit the arguing attorneys, and their co-counsel. Maybe a few journalists who could file pool reports. But no public seating. All bar admissions will be postponed. And the Court's exhibits and cafeteria (with a buffet) would be shut down. There is no reason to maintain the staff needed to handle an influx of guests if those guests are not admitted in.

Eugene has blogged that several courts have adopted closure rules. The Supreme Court very well may be next.