WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court is about to go where it has never gone before. And the country will get to listen in — live.
Beginning this week, the justices will hear arguments by telephone for the first time since Alexander Graham Bell patented his invention in 1876, opening a two-week remote session that includes disputes over subpoenas for President Donald Trump’s financial records. The justices are allowing live audio broadcasts, another novelty for a court that under less-dire circumstances treasures its precedents and traditions.
The 10 phone arguments, a concession to the coronavirus pandemic, will offer a public window into the court’s operations at a time when they are far from normal. The justices will be using unfamiliar technology and a new questioning format, while perhaps wondering how it will be perceived by a live audience that could include a tweeting president.