Appellate Oral Arguments in the Time of Coronavirus

As announced here, the Supreme Court of the United States today advised that, “in light of public health concerns,” it is postponing oral arguments that had been scheduled for March 23-25 and March 30-April 1. “The Court will examine the options for rescheduling those cases in due course in light of the developing circumstances,” its press release stated.

Among the cases that were to be heard during that period are cases involving efforts by different parties to get access to Donald Trump’s tax or financial records. Will those cases still be heard and decided before the end of the current Term, before the upcoming election fully heats up? Stay tuned.

Other appellate courts have not postponed their oral arguments. The Supreme Court of New Jersey heard oral arguments this morning and is scheduled to hear more arguments tomorrow. The Court’s next set of scheduled oral arguments are currently set for March 30 and 31.

Parts A, C, and H of the Appellate Division have oral arguments scheduled this week, as shown here. Next week, as shown here, all Parts except Part D, which has only a waiver calendar, are scheduled to entertain oral arguments.

Finally, the Third Circuit has oral arguments scheduled on March 24, 25, and 31. Any of these appellate courts might yet follow the lead of the United States Supreme Court and postpone oral arguments. But since many courts have already taken the precaution of barring the public, appellate arguments will involve only small groups, including jurists and oral advocates, thereby minimizing risk should the appellate courts decide to go forward with oral arguments as scheduled.