Coronavirus Shuts Down Courts Across the US
From the local level to the federal, courts all over the US are putting proceedings on hold as the coronavirus crisis continues.
Citing the challenge posed by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, courts across the US announced that they would be postponing proceedings for the immediate future.
As of Monday, the New York state court system put all nonessential proceedings on hold, though it announced that ongoing trials and arraignments would continue.
New Jersey also announced a two-week suspension of new trials and municipal courts. California’s Contra Costa and Samoa Counties declared a similar two-week closure of most courts.
Perhaps most notably, for the first time in 102 years, the US Supreme Court has also postponed its hearings for two weeks – a period in which it was scheduled to hear a number of high-profile cases, including a legal challenge to obtain President Trump’s tax records and another to determine the extent to which religious employers can claim to be exempt from anti-discrimination laws.
Late on Monday, the Social Security Administration also announced that it would be suspending in-person interviews, including hearings, following calls from judges to prioritise the health of the potentially vulnerable participants.
Despite these significant closures, immigration courts have continued to conduct in-person hearings, drawing condemnation from ICE union workers and the National Association of Immigration Judges.