Supreme Court Postpones Arguments Over Coronavirus

Supreme Court Postpones Arguments Over Coronavirus

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court announced Monday that it would postpone its next argument session “in keeping with public health precautions.”

The court was to hear six days of arguments over two weeks starting next Monday, including ones on whether the Manhattan prosecutors and the House of Representatives may obtain President Trump’s financial records.

“The court will examine the options for rescheduling those cases in due course in light of the developing circumstances,” a court spokeswoman, Kathleen Arberg, said in a statement.

The justices will meet for their private conference on Friday, Ms. Arberg said, though some of them “may participate remotely by telephone.”

The court very rarely postpones arguments.

The last time it did was in 2012, in response to Hurricane Sandy, and then only for two days. In 2001, after the court’s mailroom was contaminated by anthrax, the justices heard arguments for a week at the nearby E. Barrett Prettyman United States Court House.

“The court’s postponement of argument sessions in light of public health concerns is not unprecedented,” Ms. Arberg said. “The court postponed scheduled arguments for October 1918 in response to the Spanish flu epidemic. The court also shortened its argument calendars in August 1793 and August 1798 in response to yellow fever outbreaks.”

Explaining the decision to postpone arguments for the Spanish flu, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said the court wanted to spare lawyers from exposure to “this crowded and infected place.”

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