The U.S. Supreme Court has tragically been forced to postpone oral arguments scheduled to begin on March 23rd, despite their best efforts to continue with their work on the docket.
Court spokeswoman Patricia McCabe said last Thursday that “the Supreme Court building will be closed to the public … until further notice. The building will remain open for official business, and case filing deadlines are not extended.”
In a new statement, however, the court announced on Monday that “In keeping with public health precautions recommended in response to COVID-19, the Supreme Court is postponing the oral arguments currently scheduled for the March session. The court’s March session includes April 1.”
“The Court will examine the options for rescheduling those cases in due course in light of the developing circumstances,” McCabe added.
With the peak of coronavirus spread in the United States not yet in sight, it is unclear when the delayed cases will be heard or if more could be postponed down the road.
The cases affected by the postponement will include three cases involving access to President Trump’s financial documents for the House Ways and Means Committee and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, which were scheduled for argument on March 31.
Also on hold are a case regarding military prosecution of rape, a trademark case, a high-profile copyright case between tech giants Google and Oracle, a lawsuit by three Muslims who were put on the “No Fly List” after refusing to inform to the FBI, a case on the composition of Delaware’s state courts, a case on international funding to fight HIV, a Fourth Amendment case, a deportation case and a case on religiously-based discrimination.
Coronavirus is reportedly most deadly to older adults and those with serious chronic medical conditions.
This places many of the Supreme Court justices at risk for contracting the virus given six of the nine justices are at least 65-years-old.
Liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 87-years-old would presumably be at high risk. Not just because of her age but also given the operation she underwent to address early-stage lung cancer in December.
The Supreme Court has already handed down several major rulings this month.
The Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration can enforce the “remain in Mexico” policy.
Before that, the High Court ruled 5-4 in favor of tossing a lawsuit filed against a Texas border agent for shooting and killing a Mexican teenager.
In the other immigration case, the Court ruled 5-4 in favor of allowing the Trump administration to enforce its “public charge” immigration rule, which allows them to deny green cards to immigrants who would be dependent on government welfare for extended periods.