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:
Additionally, on Saturday May 23, at 2 pm EST on C-SPAN 3, the SCHS/ACTL joint program titled “Ruth Bader Ginsburg & VMI Supreme Court Case” will air. It features interviews with the attorneys who argued Virginia v. United States (1996) and with two former Supreme Court clerks.