US 9th Circuit Shuts Down Public Access to Courthouses

Hearings will be live-streamed as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit prohibits public access to all locations during non-court weeks. Reports

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has closed its doors to everyone but judges and court staff.

The decision comes as six California counties have required residents to stay home and Washington state has sought to limit social gatherings.

In an order Tuesday, the court announced that all circuit locations would be closed to the public during non-court weeks and that any hearings would be live-streamed. The order also “strongly encouraged” lawyers to mail in paper copies of briefs instead of hand delivering.

The court announced that it is evaluating the scheduling of arguments slated from March to May, according to a notice that also landed Tuesday. The notice also granted panel judges the discretion to submit orders without argument, postpone hearings or hold arguments by phone or video.

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