How Are Courts Reacting?

Courts across the country are quickly adapting formal policies to address the Covid-19 public health crisis. The Brennan Center put together this resource compiling court orders and official announcements from federal and state courts across the country.
As of April 3, the 94 federal district courts and 13 circuit courts of appeals have responded individually to the crisis, with policies ranging from carrying on business as usual, restricting courthouse access for those with possible Covid-19 exposure, and suspending jury trials and other in-person proceedings. At the state level, courts have similarly responded to the crisis, with 34 states restricting or suspending most in-person proceedings, and 16 states giving the option for local jurisdictions to implement such measures, according to the National Center for State Courts.
Members of the legal community have raised concerns that the changes being implemented as a result of the pandemic could have long standing consequences for the country’s court system. “We’re going to have to completely rethink how much has to be done in person, how much can be done using technology … Our operations will never be the same,” said Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan Hecht to ABC News.

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