Supreme Court pleadings continue online, building remains closed

The Supreme Court announced on Wednesday that it would continue to stream the justices’ pleadings online, but said the courthouse would remain closed to the public “until further notice.”

“The Court will provide a live audio feed of all oral arguments scheduled for the upcoming term,” the Supreme Court Public Information Office wrote in a statement Wednesday. Live streaming of pleadings was a novelty in High Court proceedings after the building was closed to the public and pleadings began by teleconference in May 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision was welcome news, as many court watchers feared streaming would continue for the court’s upcoming 2022-23 fall term.

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While the court will be restricted to the public for the time being, seating for oral arguments will be made available to the public, members of the press, members of the Supreme Court bar and lawyers who argue cases before the judges. Additionally, wearing face masks inside the courtroom will be optional.

Earlier this month, Chief Justice John Roberts said that when the High Court resumes, the public “will be there to watch”, indicating the building will eventually become open to the public again.

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A live audio stream is available on the High Court’s homepage on the day of oral argument and is then uploaded to the website, along with a transcript of the dialogue shortly after the live stream ends.

The justices are expected to begin oral arguments for the new term next Monday. Ahead of that, the Supreme Court will hold an investiture for new High Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson on Friday morning, followed by Red Mass at St. Matthew the Apostle’s Cathedral, an event that marks the opening of the annual term of office of the Supreme Court.

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