US Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments Via Telephone
Monday, April 13, 2020
In an extraordinary turn of events, the Justices said on Monday that they would adopt procedures to allow remote participation.
For the first time in recorded history, the United States Supreme Court will hear arguments by telephone and host live audio broadcasts. In an extraordinary turn of events, the Justices said on Monday that they would adopt procedures to allow remote participation. The media may access a live audio and will be permitted to air the feeds live. Normally, the tradition-bound court doesn’t release audio from its sessions until days later.
This change applies to the Supreme Court’s May session in response to safety concerns about the coronavirus outbreak. As the pandemic grows, in-person arguments before the court have become impractical.
The approximately 10 cases will run arguments from May 4th to May 13th, with exact dates to be set for each case after consultation with lawyers.
The cases are:
McGirt v. Oklahoma
United States Patent and Trademark Office v. Booking.com B.V.
Agency for International Development v. Alliance for Open Society International, Inc.
Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru
St. James School v. Biel, Little Sisters of the Poor Saints Peter
Paul Home v. Pennsylvania
Trump v. Pennsylvania
Chiafalo v. Washington
Colorado Department of State v. Baca
Barr v. American Association of Political Consultants, Inc.
Trump v. Vance, Trump v. Mazars USA, LLP
Trump v. Deutsche Bank AG.
Among the rescheduled hearings are subpoenas for President Donald Trump’s financial records, a dispute over the Electoral College, and two high-profile religious-rights disputes. President Trump is challenging subpoenas from Congress and a New York grand jury for his records.
The court will rule on whether Trump must surrender his records. The impact of this decision will decide the scope of the separation of powers and the ability for the other branches to probe records of the President while in office. In the dispute involving the Electoral College, the court will rule on whether states may stop “faithless electors” from voting. “Faithless electors” are those who vote for someone other than the candidate that their state ballot has voted for. For example, if a state decided on Candidate A, and the elector voted for Candidate B, this would raise the issue on whether the state may then stop the “faithless elector” from voting.
In the high-profile religious-rights disputes, the court will decide the constitutionality of Philadelphia’s non-discrimination policy. This dispute arose from a Catholic foster agency who refused to recruit or certify same sex couples as potential foster parents. Details about the cases and the announcement can be found on the Supreme Court's website.
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