Supreme Court to revert to individual arguments in fall after Covid transition

Supreme Court to revert to individual arguments in fall after Covid transition

Members of the Supreme Court pose for a group photo at the Supreme Court on April 23, 2021 in Washington, DC. Sitting left to right: Associate Judge Samuel Alito, Associate Judge Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John Roberts, Associate Judge Stephen Breyer and Associate Judge Sonia Sotomayor, Standing left to right: Associate Judge Brett Kavanaugh, the Associate Judge Elena Kagan, Associate Judge Neil Gorsuch and Associate Judge Amy Connie Barrett.

Erin Chef-Piscine | Getty Images

The Supreme Court said on Wednesday it would hear oral arguments in person from October, more than a year after the coronavirus pandemic forced the country’s top lawyers to argue their case over the phone.

Access to the courtroom will be limited. The sessions will remain closed to the public “for the sake of the health and safety of the public and Supreme Court staff,” the court said in a statement.

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The court said only nine judges, business attorneys, essential staff and journalists with full-time press references would be allowed in the courtroom in person.

But the Supreme Court is still aiming to provide a live audio stream of the oral arguments that will be presented in the cases scheduled for October, November and December. In May 2020, the High Court, for the first time in its history, broadcast the pleadings live.

Advocacy groups have asked the court to certainly allow live, publicly available audio and video of its proceedings.

The first day of debate, October 4, will also mark Judge Amy Connie Barrett’s first appearance in the proceedings in the courtroom itself. Barrett was confirmed last October to fill the seat vacated by the death of Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

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