Bloomberg Law
Dec. 12, 2022, 8:43 PM

Justices to Deliver Opinions From Bench After Pandemic Pause

Kimberly Strawbridge Robinson
Kimberly Strawbridge Robinson

US Supreme Court justices will resume their practice of announcing decided cases from the bench, as the high court gradually returns to its pre-pandemic ways.

“For the remainder of this Term, the Court will resume its traditional practice of announcing merits opinions in open Court,” the court’s Public Information Office said in a statement Monday.

While oral arguments have continued to be livestreamed to the public after the justices returned to the bench, the court said its opinion announcements will not be. “The audio of opinion releases will be recorded and available from the National Archives at the beginning of the next Term,” the court said.

The last time the justices delivered an opinion from the bench was March 3, 2020, when Justice Samuel Alito read from his majority opinion in the immigration case, Kansas v. Garcia. Since then, the court has released opinions online.

The court has been slow to emerge from its pandemic precautions.

The justices heard arguments remotely through October 2021, when a limited audience of attorneys, reporters, and court staff were allowed into the courtroom. The public wasn’t allowed to attend arguments until the start of this term in October.

The building itself only fully opened to the public on Dec. 1, even as other federal buildings and museums in Washington have been open for months.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kimberly Strawbridge Robinson in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Seth Stern at; John Crawley at