The building already has been closed to the public, meaning that the justices and attorneys would have held hearings with no gallery.
“The Court will examine the options for rescheduling those cases in due course in light of the developing circumstances,” according to the court’s public information office.
But the court announced the postponement of cases planned from March 23-25 and March 30-April 1. There were no oral arguments scheduled for this week.
Among the arguments postponed is a case having to do with the ability of congressional committees and New York state authorities to subpoena President Donald Trump’s tax returns. Another argument, over Google’s use of Java programming software language, has been followed closely by showbiz as it could have an impact on how copyright law is interpreted.
The postponement is rare, as the justices in the past have heard oral arguments even during events like snowstorms that have otherwise shutdown much of the rest of D.C. The court postponed arguments in October, 2018 during the Spanish flu epidemic. The court also shortened its calendar in August 1793 and August 1798 in response to the yellow fever outbreaks.
The court will hold a regularly scheduled conference on Friday, although some of the justices will participate via phone. Elena Kagan, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh are the only justices under the age of 65.
The next orders will still be issued on March 23.
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