The Supreme Court said all nine justices are healthy and are following public health guidelines while adjusting to the disruptions caused by the Chinese Community Party (CCP) virus that saw the court’s March oral arguments postponed.
Court spokesperson Kathy Arberg told news outlets that the nine justices participated in a private conference that are held regularly on Fridays to consider requests such as for cases to be added to the docket. Some of the justices participated remotely, however. She said the justices are healthy and continuing their business while following public health guidance, which includes “forgoing their traditional handshake” before meetings.
The CCP virus has shown to be more dangerous to the elderly and six of the nine justices are 65 years or older. Only Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Elena Kagan are under the age of 65. Meanwhile, Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, and Clarence Thomas are over 70.
The Epoch Times refers to the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mismanagement allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic.
On Monday, the court announced that it was postponing oral arguments scheduled for the March session over concerns of the CCP virus. The top court said in a statement that it is postponing upcoming oral arguments set between March 23 and 25, and March 30 and April 1.
Some of the cases that will be affected by the notice include President Donald Trump’s appeals of three subpoena-related lawsuits in a bid to stop the House and a New York investigation from having access to the president’s financial records; cases asking the court to consider how much protection church schools have from government intervention when it comes to choosing teachers for its religion classes; and a copyright case between Google and Oracle about using lines of code central to the Java platform.
This is not the first time the court has postponed arguments in response to public health concerns. In October 1918, the court postponed arguments in response to the Spanish Flu epidemic. It also shortened its arguments calendars in August 1793 and August 1798 in response to the yellow fever outbreaks, the court said.
The court had also announced that it was closing its building to the public until further notice out of health and safety concerns. The building has been closed since March 12 but remains open for official business.