U.S. Supreme Court Oral Arguments

The COVID-19 crisis has upended many traditions.  One such upended tradition is the live broadcast of U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments.

The Court took some time off in March and April, postponing oral arguments.  Now, it has resumed them, but the members, most of whom are in the “vulnerable” stage, are conducting the arguments by telephone conference, which are being made available to the public.

The format for these telephone conferences is not as free-wheeling as regular argument. Rather than jumping in somewhat willy-nilly with their questions, the Justices are called on in the order of seniority by the Chief Justice, who also enforces time limits. But, unless you are willing to take a chance on waiting in line for hours at the Supreme Court Building when the Court resumes its normal method of hearing oral arguments, now is your chance.

There are two arguments on schedule for tomorrow. One deals with the religious objection to being required to provide contraceptive coverage in insurance plans. The other considers whether the prohibition of robocalls, specifically for campaign donations or to “advise” on political issues, violates the First Amendment.

The hearings begin at 10 a.m. and can be heard on several news outlets.  I used C-Span.

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6 responses to “U.S. Supreme Court Oral Arguments

  1. And yet, voting….

    Robots are people too, my friend.

  2. I listened to the oral arguments on Tuesday and thought it was pretty neat. I hope they continue the practice.

  3. Is there any online listening? No TV.

  4. First big silver lining of StayHome Season for me!

  5. A friend of mine had oral argument by telephone on a case before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday. It wasn’t broadcast but the trade press was listening. I’m waiting to see whether the federal District Court for the Southern District of Iowa adopts a similar procedure or just decides summary judgment based on the motions and briefs.

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