No one disputes the importance of the issue the Supreme Court is debating today – no less than the future of the democratic process, some say.
But as we enter the third hour, if you think the pleadings are taking a really, really, really long time these days, you’re right.
Blame the Covid-19 pandemic. Prior to 2020, oral arguments were usually fairly tight hour-long sessions (longer if a case was joined or the court otherwise provided). The speed and brevity were appreciated, said CNN’s senior Supreme Court analyst Joan Biskupic.
During the pandemic, the judges held oral arguments by telephone and the method was changed so that each of the nine judges was allowed to ask questions in order. Many of them ran overtime, as did the lawyers on the other end of the line. But the format had the advantage of ensuring no justice was kicked out of the Q-and-A.
But since returning to the courtroom, the old order has not been restored. Instead, as the judges reverted to their old free-for-all format, they either added a second round or moved to a third.
And with none of the judges showing signs of cutting back on sharing their questions and views, it seems that oral arguments that last 90 minutes or two hours — or more — are the new norm.
Read more here.