The Supreme Court this morning announced, by administrative order signed by all seven justices, its own form of social distancing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is exercising “its ‘ “fundamental inherent equity, supervisory, and administrative powers, as well as [its] inherent power to control litigation’ ” before it, and its power ‘ ” ‘to adopt any suitable method of practice, both in ordinary actions and special proceedings, if the procedure is not specified by statute or by rules adopted by the Judicial Council.’ ” ‘ ”
The court suspended in-person oral arguments, requiring counsel to “appear remotely via video conference, by telephone conference, or by other electronic means.” Also, the court will not be traveling for oral arguments, but will conduct them only in San Francisco. The court was due to conduct its April calendar in Los Angeles. That calendar will likely be published sometime this week.
Oral arguments will remain open, “but seating will be strictly limited in order to achieve appropriate distancing.” The hearings will also continue to be live streamed.
These changes, which the court order calls “adjustments,” will continue until “it is determined to be prudent to resume normal procedures.”