Home WORLD NEWS U.S. Supreme Court to Resume In-Person Oral Arguments | U.S. News®

U.S. Supreme Court to Resume In-Person Oral Arguments | U.S. News®


WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in person for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic started when its new session begins in October, the nation’s top judicial body announced on Wednesday.

The court building has been closed to the public since March 2020 due to the pandemic, with the justices hearing oral arguments via teleconference for the first time ever.

“The court will continue to closely monitor public health guidance in determining plans,” the court said in a statement, adding that the building would be open only for official business – not the public – amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic “until further notice.”

The court’s term begins on Oct. 4 and runs through the end of next June.

The court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority, is due to hear the gun case on Nov. 3. A date for the abortion case has not yet been scheduled.

The court’s decision to shut its building to the public and change the format for its arguments represented one of the innumerable ways the pandemic reshaped life in the United States.

In-person oral arguments in March and April of 2020 were canceled and the justices instead heard 10 cases by teleconference in May 2020.

All nine justices, three of whom are over age 70, have been vaccinated to protect against COVID-19, an illness that has proven to be particularly dangerous among the elderly.

(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; writing by Lawrence Hurley and Susan Heavey; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Will Dunham)

Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.

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