SCHS: Court History — Rosette Detail

The History of Oral Argument

By Clare Cushman
Scotus Scoop: The History of Oral Arguments

As the month of May marks a year since the Supreme Court made the switch to hearing cases argued by telephone due to the pandemic, PBS NEWSHOUR produced a segment on this temporary new format. SCHS’s Clare Cushman was interviewed about the history of oral argument.

For members seeking a deeper understanding of how the tradition has evolved, she has analyzed drawings and photos of historic oral arguments and written a pictorial history (PDF):

Additionally, on Saturday May 23, 2021, C-SPAN 3 aired a SCHS/ACTL joint program titled Ruth Bader Ginsburg & VMI Supreme Court Case. It featured interviews with the attorneys who argued Virginia v. United States (1996) and two former Supreme Court clerks.