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Supreme Court Postpones April Arguments; 20 Cases Delayed (1)

April 3, 2020, 7:54 PM

The U.S. Supreme Court postponed its April argument sitting, bringing its total number of delayed cases to 20 as the coronavirus outbreak continued to scuttle the justices’ plans.

The court said it will reschedule some of the 20 cases during its current term “if circumstances permit in light of public health and safety guidance” and will consider a “range of scheduling options and other alternatives” if courtroom arguments can’t be held. The court’s term normally runs through June.

The delayed cases include clashes over congressional and grand jury subpoenas for President Donald Trump’s financial records. The president’s critics are seeking a quick resolution, hoping to obtain the documents before the November presidential election. Arguments had been scheduled for March 31.

The now-delayed April cases included a dispute over the Electoral College, the body that will formally select the next president. At issue is whether states can stop “faithless electors” who try to cast a vote for someone other the candidate who won their state’s balloting. The justices had been aiming to resolve that issue before it arises in a disputed election.

The court has also put on hold an $8 billion copyright dispute between Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Oracle Corp.

The court’s statement Friday left open the possibility that the justices might eventually break with their traditional practice of holding a formal courtroom argument for each case they are considering. Unlike lower courts, the Supreme Court doesn’t hold arguments by telephone or other electronic means.

Although the court has postponed arguments because of the coronavirus outbreak, the justices are continuing to issue orders and opinions, with more expected Monday. They are forgoing their traditional practice of announcing opinions from the bench.

(Adds details on postponed cases starting in third paragraph)

To contact the reporter on this story:
Greg Stohr in Washington at gstohr@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Joe Sobczyk at jsobczyk@bloomberg.net

Anna Edgerton, Bill Faries

© 2020 Bloomberg L.P. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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