Supreme court to hear oral arguments by telephone for the first time ever

While America’s COVID-19 crisis continues to unfold, the Supreme Court isn’t letting the disease keep it from hearing cases. In a statement released on Monday, the nation’s highest court revealed that it will begin hearing cases via telephone.  

“In keeping with public health guidance in response to COVID-19, the justices and counsel will all participate remotely,” the statement explained.

It went on the say, “The Court anticipates providing a live audio feed of these arguments to news media. Details will be shared as they become available.”

Court building closed indefinitely

Justices won’t be the only ones making use of internet technology to do their jobs, and the statement concludes by stating, “The court building remains open for official business, but most court personnel are teleworking. It added, “The court building remains closed to the public until further notice.”

According to the Los Angeles Times, this is the first instance in which the Supreme Court has heard cases over the phone. In another first, live audio of the court’s proceedings will be made available to the public.

It reports that hearing arguments remotely will allow the court to take up a number of cases that have been put on hold due to the health crisis.

The most high-profile cases address the question of whether President Trump can be forced to turn over 10 years worth of tax returns prior to New York District Attorney Cyrus Vance.

Another case has to do with the Electoral College and whether electors must cast their ballots for the presidential candidate that their state voted for.

Ginsburg keeps hitting the gym

While coronavirus has upended the Supreme Court’s using operating method, the disease hasn’t interfered with Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s workout routine.

The website Law360 reported on March 31 that Justice Ginsburg was continuing to exercise with her personal trainer, Bryant Johnson, despite an order shutting down Washington’s gyms.

“Everybody’s been shut down. The only reason why I didn’t shut the justice down is because, hey, she ain’t having it,” Johnson was quoted as saying.

The Army veteran went on to say that Ginsburg “has that grandfather status to me and if she wants to train, that’s the least that I can do.”

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