US Supreme Court hears cases by teleconference « Khabarhub
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US Supreme Court hears cases by teleconference

05 May 2020  

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WASHINGTON: The US Supreme Court for the first time heard arguments in a case by teleconference — a trademark dispute involving popular hotel reservation website — and even typically silent Justice Clarence Thomas asked questions.

The nine justices kicked off a scheduled hour of arguments in the case — not in a courtroom but by participating remotely using a dial-in format to combat the spread of the pathogen.

Emphasizing the unique nature of the proceedings, Thomas, a conservative justice who almost never asks questions during arguments, embraced the new format and queried government lawyer Erica Ross about her arguments on behalf of the US Patent and Trademark Office seeking to prevent from trademarking the site’s name.

He asked whether trademarking a website name would be similar to trademarking a 1-800 phone number. Thomas, as the longest-serving justice, asked his questions after Chief Justice John Roberts, his voice echoing on the line, asked his own questions of Ross.

Early on, the technology seemed to be working well, with each justice taking turns asking questions in order of seniority.

When it was Justice Stephen Breyer’s turn, he launched into his question before checking himself. “Good morning, anyway,” he said.

The justices over the next two weeks are set to conduct arguments in 10 cases by teleconference. In another first, the court is providing a live audio feed, making these the first arguments that the public can hear live.

(with inputs from Agencies)

Publish Date : 05 May 2020 17:24 PM

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