Supreme Court sets oral arguments in Trump finance documents case for May 12

The cases were originally set to be heard in late March and early April but

The cases were originally set to be heard in late March and early April but were postponed due to health concerns related to the coronavirus. Earlier in the week, the justices announced that instead of holding oral arguments for cases in their august courtroom they would participate remotely by phone and allow the public to listen in real time. The justices have never allowed the release of live audio of their proceedings.

The court has yet to release any details on how exactly the oral arguments will play out, and whether they will depart from their normal protocols given that they won’t actually be able to see the lawyers or even their own colleagues.

No justices will be in the courtroom and there will be no on-camera component, court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said earlier in the week.

The 10 cases will be heard May 4-6 and May 11-13. It is also unclear if the court will keep to its usual end of June deadline to release all opinions.

The cases involving Trump’s financial documents concern whether the US House of Representatives and a New York prosecutor can subpoena the President’s longtime accounting firm and banks for his records, two monumental disputes concerning separation of powers and Trump’s broad claims of immunity.

Electoral College, contraceptive mandate

Two other major issues are on the docket for next month.

The Electoral College will be debated in a case involving so-called faithless electors who voted or attempted to vote for candidates other than the ones who won their states — Trump or Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton — in the 2016 election.

Most states currently require some kind of a pledge from an elector to vote for the party’s candidate who won the popular vote in the state. Overall, 10 of the 538 presidential electors in 2016 voted or attempted to vote for someone other than their pledged candidate.

That will be heard on May 13.

On May 6, the justices will hear a case called Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania concerning the Trump administration’s attempt to weaken the “contraceptive mandate,” the Affordable Care Act’s long-controversial requirement that employer-provided health insurance plans cover birth control as a preventive service.

In 2018, the Trump administration expanded those exemptions to cover other entities with sincere religious or moral objections. The new rules were immediately challenged by Pennsylvania and other states, as well as by the Little Sisters of the Poor religious order.

Roughly half of oral arguments the court was scheduled to hear in March and April will now be postponed until the fall term, lawyers for those cases were told last Monday.

Those issues involve a copyright case between Google and Oracle and a case concerning the statute of limitations for rape in the military.

In addition to the oral arguments, the justices are still scheduled to release opinions for all the cases that have been argued so far this term. They include blockbuster issues concerning LGBT rights, abortion, the termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program and the 2nd Amendment.

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