Nope, the justices aren’t there, or in the main courtroom anyway. In a first, the Supreme Court will be hearing oral arguments remotely and streaming them live.


CNET/Marguerite Reardon

The US Supreme Court will hear oral arguments remotely over the next two weeks, and in a historic first, the public can listen in. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Supreme Court is conducting arguments by telephone conference for a handful of cases starting Monday and will stream live audio, opening up an experience that’s usually reserved for people who wait in line to snag a seat in the courtroom. 

The court will hold arguments via teleconference for 10 cases over the first two weeks of May. Cases are schedule to start at 10 a.m. ET and audio will available on C-SPAN and other media platforms.

The first case on Monday involved a dispute between the US Patent and Trademark Office and Booking.com over the online reservation company’s bid to trademark the name. Other cases scheduled to be heard remotely include legal battles over President Donald Trump’s finances and birth control access under the Affordable Care Act. 

COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, has rapidly spread across the globe. There are now over 3 million confirmed cases globally, with more than 1.1 million in the US as of Monday.

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