Supreme Court postpones oral arguments amid coronavirus

Oral arguments in a landmark dispute over subpoenas for Trump’s financial records will have to wait, as the Supreme Court has postponed the proceedings amid concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

TheHill reports a court spokeswoman said the move was “in keeping with public health precautions” in response to the outbreak, which has infected 18 people in Washington, D.C., and more than 3,800 nationwide.

“The court will examine the options for rescheduling those cases in due course in light of the developing circumstances,” the spokeswoman said.

The postponement affects six days of oral arguments slated for late March and April 1, including a March 31 dispute involving efforts by House Democrats and New York state prosecutors to obtain years of Trump’s financial records and tax returns.

The court in a statement said that the postponement of argument sessions in light of public health concerns is not unprecedented.

“The Court postponed scheduled arguments for October 1918 in response to the Spanish flu epidemic,” it said. “The Court also shortened its argument calendars in August 1793 and August 1798 in response to yellow fever outbreaks.”

The Supreme Court building remains open for official business, including the justices’ regularly scheduled March 20 conference. Some justices may participate in that conference remotely by telephone, a spokeswoman said. The building remains closed to the public indefinitely.

“The court is expanding remote working capabilities to reduce the number of employees in the building, consistent with public health guidance,” the spokeswoman said.