Supreme Court to hold May arguments by teleconference

National

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court said Monday it will hold arguments by teleconference in May in key cases, including President Donald Trump’s bid to shield his tax and other financial records.

The court will make live audio of the arguments available for the first time. It had previously postponed courtroom arguments for March and April because of the coronavirus.

The court will hear 10 cases in all between May 4 and May 13. In addition to fights over subpoenas for Trump’s financial records, they include two cases about whether presidential electors are required to cast their Electoral College ballots for the candidate who won their state.

The justices and the lawyers arguing the cases all will participate remotely. The court said a live audio feed will be provided to news organizations.

The court has never live-streamed courtroom arguments and only rarely has it made the audio available on the same day.

Six of the nine justices are 65 and older, at higher risk of getting very sick from the illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 87, and Stephen Breyer, 81, are the oldest members of the court.

The only other time Supreme Court arguments have been held outside the 85-year-old court building was in October 2001, when anthrax was detected in the court mailroom. That led the justices to hold arguments in the federal courthouse about a half mile from the Supreme Court, but only for one week.

In 1918, when the court still met inside the Capitol, arguments were postponed for a month because of the flu pandemic. Smallpox outbreaks in the late 1700s also caused the postponement of court business.

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