U.S. Supreme Court announces oral arguments to be conducted via teleconference for upcoming October sitting

On September 16, 2020, the United States Supreme Court announced that it would hear oral arguments via teleconference during its October sitting, following the same format that was used during its May sitting in the 2019-2020 term.

Under this format, all relevant counsel are called the morning of the case’s argument day and are briefed with instructions. At the time of argument, the justices enter the main conference call. Chief Justice Roberts will call the first case and will prompt counsel to present their arguments. The chief justice will conduct initial questioning. Once complete, the associate justices are able to ask questions in turns in order of seniority.

The following is a list of the current Supreme Court justices in order of seniority:
Chief Justice John Roberts – Appointed by President George W. Bush (R) in 2005
Associate Justice Clarence Thomas – Appointed by President George H.W. Bush (R) in 1991
Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg – Appointed by President Bill Clinton (D) in 1993
Associate Justice Stephen Breyer – Appointed by President Bill Clinton (D) in 1994
Associate Justice Samuel Alito – Appointed by President George W. Bush (R) in 2006
Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor – Appointed by President Barack Obama (D) in 2009
Associate Justice Elena Kagan – Appointed by President Barack Obama (D) in 2010
Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch – Appointed by President Donald Trump (R) in 2017
Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh – Appointed by President Donald Trump (R) in 2018

The court also announced that the oral arguments will be provided to the public via live audio stream. The audio files and argument transcripts for cases will be posted on the Court’s website following oral argument each day.

The Supreme Court will begin hearing cases for the term on October 5, 2020. The court’s yearly term begins on the first Monday in October and lasts until the first Monday in October the following year. The court generally releases the majority of its decisions in mid-June.




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Kate Carsella

Kate Carsella is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.

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