Smooth sailing in U.S. Supreme Court's first teleconference case; Thomas joins fray Tuesday, May 5, 2020
The first U.S. Supreme Court arguments conducted by teleconference - a break from tradition due to the coronavirus pandemic - played out smoothly on Monday in a case involving hotel reservation website Booking.com, with even the typically silent Justice Clarence Thomas joining the fray.
The pandemic has prompted changes at almost every level of American society, with the nine justices holding arguments in the trademark case not in their courtroom but by participating remotely using a dial-in format to combat the pathogen’s spread.
The arguments began as usual with the marshal of the court’s traditional words “Oyez, Oyez, Oyez,” and proceeded with Chief Justice Roberts playing the role of traffic cop. Thomas, who usually refrains from asking questions during arguments, posed two rounds of queries.