You Can Now Listen Live to the Arguments of the Supreme Court

If you’ve gotten to the quarantine stage when you’ve watched every episode and season of Law & Order, CSI, and NCIS, you may be looking for a fix for the next courtroom drama. Well, look no further than a higher court: thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, for the first time in history, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear 10 cases brought up by conference call with publicly available live audio.

While cameras are still not permitted in the courtroom, live audio recording of the hearing will allow the public to get an insider’s view of (well, listen to) what happens during the trial. Of course, this is not how the Supreme Court usually works, and judges and attorneys will participate via conference call (as we do!) – but that in itself provides an interesting and historical reason to listen.

How to listen to live Supreme Court hearings

Luckily, you don’t need a cable subscription to listen to the Supreme Court hearings: an internet connection is enough. Most of the major news networks, includingNBC ,CBS ,PBS , CNN, and C-SPAN, offer free live audio streams that you can either listen to live or save for your evening entertainment.

No, you won’t be able to enjoy non-verbal cues from lawyers or judges, but some networks, such as NBC, post helpful pictures of people speaking to help you keep track of who is saying what:

What’s on the dossier?

What can you expect from the discussion? On May 4, 5, 6, 11, 12 and 13, the court will hear arguments in 10 different cases. To address any flaws in the system, the Supreme Court today began with what the New York Times describes as a “minor trademark dispute.” Tuesday will present oral arguments on USAID for the case against the Open Society Alliance International, , in the case of the First Amendment and the US organizations receiving federal funds to fight HIV / AIDS abroad.

The real serious cases take place on May 12, when the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in three cases involving attempts by a New York City grand jury and congressional committees to gain access to the president’s financial records . These arguments could have serious implications not only for the incumbent president and his various businesses, but for the presidency as a whole.

Check SCOTUSblog for daily updates on pending cases and the back story of each case. Then mark the arguments you want to hear on your calendar, sit back, and enjoy historically unprecedented access to the work of the Supreme Court.

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