Coronavirus: Supreme Court to hold Trump’s tax arguments via teleconference

‘The justices and counsel will all participate remotely’

Louise Hall
Monday 13 April 2020 22:09
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The Supreme Court will take arguments virtually via a teleconference, including the postponed appeal of Donald Trump, in a historic move forced by the coronavirus.

This will be the first time in the court’s history such action has been taken as the court has never live-streamed courtroom arguments.

The court will hear 10 cases between 4 May and 13 May with the most notable perhaps being president Mr Trump's bid to shield his tax and other financial records.

"In keeping with public health guidance in response to Covid-19, the justices and counsel will all participate remotely. The court anticipates providing a live audio feed of these arguments to news media. Details will be shared as they become available," court spokesperson Kathy Arberg said.

The Supreme Court closed its building to the public alongside many other workplaces across the US, postponing cases as a precaution against the coronavirus.

“The court building remains open for official business, but most court personnel are teleworking. The court building remains closed to the public until further notice,” Ms Arberg added.

The institution has been historically resistant to introducing technology to its chambers. Audio is rarely made available on the same day and cameras are banned.

Mr Trump’s case concerns his desire to withhold documents that were requested by members of Congress as part of an ethics investigation and in a separate lawsuit from the Manhattan district attorney’s office.

The president lost in lower courts on the matter in three cases seeking to release the president's tax returns and financial information, with one case involving a criminal investigation against Mr Trump and his families real estate business.

In their latest appeal to the Supreme Court, the president’s attorneys argued that the case raises “important separation of powers questions concerning Congress’s authority to subpoena the personal records of a sitting president.”

Arguments from the House of Representatives committees and a New York prosecutor were originally scheduled for 31 March but were postponed due to growing fears of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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