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Today, Edith Roberts describes the anticipation preceding an unprecedented phenomenon: telephonic Supreme Court hearings. Because the Supreme Court has strongly adhered to tradition in the past, this decision to hear arguments remotely came as a shock to some reporters, but it has also been deemed appropriate and admirable for the current times.

In addition to this reaction, Roberts also highlights a few pending and current cases involving a host of topics such as birth control and health insurance as well as deportation and copyright. You can read an excerpt of this round-up below.


Court-watchers and advocates are gearing up for next week’s unprecedented telephonic Supreme Court arguments. For USA Today, Richard Wolf reports that “[f]or a court that clings to tradition more than the British monarchy – where male government lawyers wear morning coats, quill pens pass for souvenirs and e-mail has increased only because of social distancing – its choice of telephonic hearings[, to begin on Monday,] came as a surprise to many.” At Bloomberg Law, Jordan Rubin and Kimberly Robinson report that the May sitting “will also be notable for featuring an argument between two female lawyers to start the two-week session.” At The Washington Post (subscription required), Robert Barnes reports that “[a]t the Justice Department, whose attorneys will take part in nine of the 10 scheduled arguments, the pleas will be made to a speakerphone in the solicitor general’s conference room,” and the advocates “will still be wearing morning coats, the formal, traditional dress for government lawyers who argue before the court.” At Reason (via How Appealing), Jacob Sullum suggests that “the fact that the Court decided to allow online streaming of the [May] oral arguments … may signal a new openness.”


  • At Willamette Week (via How Appealing), Tess Riski looks at several notable convictions in Oregon “resulting from 10-2 or 11-1 jury verdicts [that] could be reversed” after the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Ramos v. Louisiana that the Constitution requires a unanimous jury verdict in state criminal trials.


Read the full piece on