Apr 13, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court to hear cases by telephone in May

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments via teleconference in May, it announced Monday.

Why it matters: It's the first time the court will hear cases remotely — and it'll allow the media to listen in as well — marking a huge step for the notoriously technophobic branch of government amid the coronavirus crisis.

  • The 10 cases on the docket, which were previously indefinitely postponed, will now take place on May 4–6 and 11–13.
  • There's no word if the public will be allowed to listen in live.

Worth watching: Three of the cases involve President Trump's efforts to prevent congressional committees and New York prosecutors from accessing his financial records and tax returns.

  • The court granted an emergency stay on a subpoena late last year that would have allowed the release of Trump's financial records, setting up a Supreme Court showdown on the case.
  • The decision to move to telephonic arguments means that a decision could come down on the president's financial records before the 2020 presidential election.

Go deeper: How the coronavirus could shield Trump's tax returns

Go deeper

As techlash heats up again, here's who's stoking the fire

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As controversies around online speech rage against a backdrop of racial tension, presidential provocation and a pandemic, a handful of companies, lawmakers and advocacy groups have continued to promote a backlash against Big Tech.

The big picture: Companies like Facebook and Google got a reputational boost at the start of the coronavirus lockdown, but that respite from criticism proved brief. They're now once again walking a minefield of regulatory investigations, public criticism and legislative threats over antitrust concerns, content moderation and privacy concerns.

Cities are retooling public transit to lure riders back

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

After being told for months to stay away from others, the idea of being shoulder to shoulder again in a bus or subway terrifies many people, requiring sweeping changes to public transit systems for the COVID-19 era.

Why it matters: Cities can't come close to resuming normal economic activity until large numbers of people feel comfortable using public transportation.

The policies that could help fix policing

 Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

George Floyd's death has reignited the long and frustrating push to reform a law enforcement system whose systemic flaws have been visible for years.

Why it matters: Solving these problems will require deep political, structural and cultural changes, experts and advocates say — but they also point to a handful of specific policy changes that, while not a cure, would make a difference.