U.S. Supreme Court to postpone oral arguments amid coronavirus concerns

FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Supreme Court building is seen in Washington, U.S., January 21, 2020. REUTERS/Will Dunham/File Photo

(Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court will postpone its next round of oral arguments scheduled for later this month, including a high-profile dispute over President Donald Trump’s tax and financial records, in an effort to combat the spread of the coronavirus, a spokeswoman said on Monday.

The announcement to delay the arguments, which had been scheduled to begin on March 23, marked an increase in the court’s response to the pandemic after closing its building to the public last Thursday. The postponement impacts 11 arguments spanning 14 cases, including Trump’s appeals in three separate cases to prevent his financial records including tax returns from being handed over to Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives committees and a New York prosecutor.

Court spokesperson Kathy Arberg said in a statement that the court was taking the action in “keeping with public health precautions recommended in response to COVID-19,” the disease caused by the virus. Arberg said the court “will examine the options for rescheduling those cases in due course in light of the developing circumstances.”

The move comes as states and cities nationwide imposed stricter measures such as closing schools and businesses to slow transmission of the virus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday urged the cancellation or postponement of gatherings of 50 or more people over the next eight weeks.

Reporting by Andrew Chung in New York; Editing by Will Dunham

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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