WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court said Wednesday it will start its new term next month the way it ended the last one, with arguments by telephone because of the coronavirus pandemic and live audio available to the public.
With 87-year-old Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg being treated for cancer and five of her colleagues also age 65 or older, the court is taking no chances that putting the justices in close proximity to each other might make them more vulnerable to catching the virus.
“In keeping with public health guidance in response to COVID-19, the Justices and counsel will all participate remotely,” the court said in a statement. The court will decide at a later date how to hold arguments in November and December.
The court held arguments by telephone in May for the first time and made the audio available live, also a first for the tradition-bound court. The dramatic change in the court’s procedure came after the justices