The very nature of the Supreme Court does not really lend itself to the use of modern technology — but on Monday, that all changed.
The Supreme Court broke tradition this week to hold oral arguments by teleconference for the first time in U.S. history, The Hill reported.
The case that made history was a trademark case related to Booking.com, an online travel website. Because the hearing was held virtually, for the first time, the general public was given real-time access to a Supreme Court hearing as it was taking place.
In addition to that rare opportunity, Justice Clarence Thomas spoke during the proceedings — not an often occurrence.
In fact, this was the first time Thomas has spoken during this term, and only the second time he has been vocally heard from during proceedings in about four years.
This session rings in a new era for a court that previously would cancel sessions rather than allow modern technology to be used during proceedings.
One of the reasons this may have been happening was simply due to the age of the justices, two of whom are in their 80s.
Now that the court has gotten its feet wet, it will continue to hold arguments via teleconference for the immediate future, The Hill reports.
For this month, there are already nine more sessions booked. Among those is a case regarding President Donald Trump’s financial records, which will be held on May 12, The Hill noted.
This is a case Dems have been licking their chops about for months in hopes that it gives them some type of smoking gun to use against Trump ahead of November’s election.
Indeed, Trump’s refusal to turn over his tax returns had been hotly debated since 2016, and is being brought back up again now that Democrats are trying to use it to deflect from the Joe Biden sexual assault scandal.
With there being no real reason for those records to be turned over than imaginary charges from Democrats, and no constitutional requirement for a president to do so, it is hard to imagine the conservative-dominated court to side with Dems on this particular issue. But with the implementation of this new technology, we’ll get to listen and see.