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That's a Wrap: What Leading Appellate Lawyers Say About Historic SCOTUS Arguments

May 13, 2020, The National Law Journal

Beth Brinkmann spoke with The National Law Journal about the historic U.S. Supreme Court teleconference arguments during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ms. Brinkmann says, “The participation by Justice Thomas is a real benefit of the phone format. His questions to the advocates allow them the opportunity to address his concerns. It also means that the conversation can be expanded to take into account the issues he raises.”

She adds, “One downside is the loss of the energy of the in-person argument when justices are interrupting each other to ask you questions because they are so engaged in debating the issues with you. The tempo of the phone arguments is more akin to the court before Justice Scalia joined, when there were many fewer questions so the arguments were orderly without interruptions, but less fun. In the end, however, the justices are going to pose the questions they want addressed in either format and will use the arguments to sharpen their views on the case.”

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