Still dealing with the impacts of the Coronavirus outbreak, the U.S. Supreme Court convened for its new term on Monday by telephone and with only eight members, honoring the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who died on September 18, 2020.
“Justice Ginsburg’s contributions as advocate, jurist, and citizen are immeasurable,” said Chief Justice John Roberts before the first arguments of the 2020-21 term.
“We at the Court will remember her as a dear friend, and as a treasured colleague,” Roberts added.
Arguments began on this First Monday in October again by telephone, as the Supreme Court has not met in person since March 4, just before the virus outbreak shuttered much of the federal government.
President Trump has urged the U.S. Senate to swiftly fill the vacancy left by the death of Justice Ginsburg, as hearings are slated to begin next Monday on the nomination of federal appeals court judge Amy Coney Barrett.
Barrett’s nomination ceremony - conducted on September 26 at the White House - resulted in a spread of Coronavirus cases involving at least two U.S. Senators and other attendees at the White House.
As a result, GOP leaders are putting legislative work in the Senate on hold at least for two weeks, but the Barrett hearings will go forward, with a vote envisioned by Republicans just before the November 3 elections.