COVID-19 AND THE OHIO SUPREME COURT
The Ohio Supreme Court has long been ahead of the curve in ensuring that its oral arguments be available to as wide an audience as possible. It live streams all oral arguments and archives them on its website. As Ohio’s highest court, it deals with critical issues, and makes decisions on matters that affect every citizen for years to come. So, there’s good reason to let the public watch an important part of the process.
And in the face of the restrictions caused by Covid-19, the Court is continuing to protect transparency. Beginning April 7, the Supreme Court will conduct oral arguments remotely. The Justices will sit in their individual chambers and hear the arguments presented by the lawyers using video technology. And the whole process will be live streamed and archived, just as it would be if everyone was in the courtroom.
I do have a case that will be set for oral argument in the near future and it will be interesting to see how it really works. I have some questions. Will the Justices all appear in a separate box on my screen? If so, will I get distracted thinking how much it looks like the introduction to The Brady Bunch? Will I hear that stupid theme song in my head?
Do I need to get a podium for my home office? I am only partially kidding about that one. I’ve argued in the Ohio Supreme Court on a number of occasions, and I can’t imagine not standing behind a podium. But we all need to adjust I suppose.
I applaud the Supreme Court for being proactive here. The Coronavirus has been the most disruptive force in our lifetime. It is inspiring to see the Supreme Court continuing to hear oral argument, making sure the Justices and lawyers are safe and continuing to provide the public with access.