The Supreme Court has closed its building to the public effective Thursday (March 12) until further notice due to the coronavirus. The building remains open for official business and the court said case filing deadlines will not be extended.
Given that, said Fix the Court executive director Gabe Roth, if the closure extends beyond March 23, the next time oral arguments are to be heard, the court should at minimum allow for live streamed audio.
Roth said it was the right call to close the court to the public's physical presence, and would be the right one to make sure they have a virtual presence via streaming.
He said that would be the smartest way to balance the public interest in both safety and access to the court. Ideally it would be a video stream too, but he concedes that would be bit tougher of an ask. "The idea here is to use technology that's easy and has been done before."
The court audio streamed Justice Antonin Scalia's memorial service in November 2016.
Fix the Court has long pushed for live video and audio of court proceedings.