The Georgia Supreme Court Will Resume In-Person Oral Arguments. Will New Jersey’s Supreme Court Do the Same in the Fall?

The Supreme Court of Georgia announced yesterday that it will resume in-person oral arguments on June 9. The press release regarding this described how things will work:

“Public health protocols will be in place for the in-person proceedings. The nine justices, who all have been fully vaccinated, will wear masks throughout the session, as will all other persons in the courtroom, although attorneys arguing before the court may remove their masks at the podium, if they so choose. Attorneys will receive an In-Person Oral Argument Guide prior to the proceedings.

“Although the courtroom gallery normally accommodates 154 persons, with social distancing, the number will be limited to 34, including members of the public, co-counsel, parties, and media representatives. All will be expected to wear masks over their noses and mouths and maintain social distancing as indicated in posted signs.”

Our own Supreme Court has concluded its oral argument schedule for this Term, aside from a Rules hearing on June 1. Arguments at the Court will not resume until the fall. Here’s hoping that, by then, the Court will resume in-person oral arguments. The Zoom arguments that the Court has conducted since last year have done their job, but there is no complete substitute for the interaction that occurs when counsel and the Justices are together (though necessarily distanced by the setup of the Supreme Court courtroom) in person.