Supreme Court keeping live audio as it opens again to public

Sep 28, 2022, 2:44 PM | Updated: Sep 29, 2022, 3:01 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court says it will continue providing live audio broadcasts of arguments in cases, even as it welcomes the public back to its courtroom for a new term that begins Monday.

The justices began providing live audio of arguments after the court closed to the public in March of 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Monday will be the first time in more than two and a half years that the justices will hear arguments with members of the public present.

Chief Justice John Roberts had said earlier this month that the public would be allowed back in October, following the court’s summer break. But the court had not announced specifics or said what would happen to the audio feed of arguments the court has been providing through its website. Before the pandemic, audio of arguments was generally available only several days after they took place.

On Wednesday the high court announced that the building would still remain closed to visitors “until further notice” outside oral arguments, which are scheduled on four days in October. Members of the public who attend on those days will not be required to wear masks.

The court at first postponed arguments entirely in 2020 because of virus concerns but went on to hear them by phone for more than a year and a half. The justices returned to in-person sessions without the public in the fall of last year and heard their entire last term without being open to the public. That included big cases in which they ultimately expanded gun rights and stripped away women’s constitutional protections for abortion. Aside from arguing lawyers, only the justices’ law clerks, court staff and journalists who cover the court were allowed to be at argument sessions, and for a time there were mask and testing requirements.

On the first day of the new term Monday the court will hear cases involving the nation’s main anti-water pollution law, the Clean Water Act, and a dispute between states over unclaimed money. Big cases already on the docket this term include one challenging the role of race in college admissions and another that could further weaken the Voting Rights Act.

The court looks different from the last time the public was allowed to see the justices on the bench, with two new justices. Justice Amy Coney Barrett joined the court following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 2020. And Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, the court’s first Black female justice, joined the court following the retirement of Justice Stephen Breyer in June.

The changes mean that for the first time a majority of the justices are not white men, and for the first time four women are sitting together on the court. The justices will hold an invitation-only ceremonial investiture for Jackson in their courtroom on Friday.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FILE - President Joe Biden speaks on the January jobs report in the Eisenhower Executive Office Bui...
Associated Press

State of the Union: Biden sees economic glow, GOP sees gloom

WASHINGTON (AP) — Going into Tuesday’s State of the Union address, President Joe Biden sees a nation with its future aglow. Republicans take a far bleaker view — that the country is beset by crushing debt and that Biden is largely responsible for inflation. And the GOP now holds a House majority intent on blocking […]
6 hours ago
Sri Lankan government soldiers march carrying national flags during the 75th Independence Day cerem...
Associated Press

Sri Lanka marks independence anniversary amid economic woes

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka marked its 75th independence anniversary on Saturday as a bankrupt nation, with many citizens angry, anxious and in no mood to celebrate. Many Buddhists and Christian clergy had announced a boycott of the celebration in the capital, while activists and others expressed anger at what they see as […]
1 day ago
FILE - President Joe Biden delivers his first State of the Union address to a joint session of Cong...
Associated Press

Biden makes progress on ‘unity agenda’ outlined in 2022

WASHINGTON (AP) — A year ago, President Joe Biden used his first State of the Union address to push top Democratic priorities that were sure to face a battle in the narrowly divided Congress but he also laid out a four-pronged “unity agenda” that would be an easier sell. Biden’s unity goals would be hard […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

New California oil well ban put on hold for voters to decide

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California’s new law banning new oil and gas wells near homes, schools and other community sites has been put on hold until after voters decide next year whether to throw it out, officials announced Friday. Opponents of Senate Bill 1137 gathered more than 623,000 valid voter signatures to put a referendum […]
1 day ago
FILE - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks after being sworn in to begin his second term during an ina...
Associated Press

Florida lawmakers to meet next week on Disney, immigration

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida lawmakers will meet next week to complete a state takeover of Walt Disney World’s self-governing district and debate proposals on immigration and election crimes, as Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis continues to leverage national political fissures ahead of an expected White House run. Republican leaders of the Legislature, in coordination with […]
1 day ago
FILE - Johnny Thai, 11, receives the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a pediatric vaccine clinic for chil...
Associated Press

California won’t require COVID vaccine to attend schools

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Children in California won’t have to get the coronavirus vaccine to attend schools, state public health officials confirmed Friday, ending one of the last major restrictions of the pandemic in the nation’s most populous state. Gov. Gavin Newsom first announced the policy in 2021, saying it would eventually apply to all […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Company looking for oldest air conditioner and wants to reward homeowner with new one

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.
(Pexels Photo)...

Sports gambling can be fun for adults, but it’s a dangerous game for children

While adults may find that sports gambling is a way to enhance the experience with more than just fandom on the line, it can be a dangerous proposition if children get involved in the activity.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
Supreme Court keeping live audio as it opens again to public