Wednesday, December 7, 2022

How Are the Courts Handling COVID-19?

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( – In many ways, we’re lucky the COVID-19 pandemic came in 2020, rather than some previous year. If we didn’t have technological innovations like video conferencing at our disposal, the pandemic’s impact on businesses and other organizations would have been far greater. However, the virus has still managed to provide a more complicated situation for courts.

The courts are an interesting case study here. While virtual proceedings have been used in some circumstances, the Constitution requires that certain court procedures take place in person.

Unfortunately, cases in many areas have simply been postponed. In-person jury trials resumed in some areas toward the end of summer, but this has become more and more difficult as the “second wave” of the virus has continued to get worse.

The courts hosting physical cases look very different than they normally would. Plexiglass windows separate various parts of the chamber, all attendees are required to wear masks, and members of the public are not allowed to observe.

It’s difficult to overstate the level of responsibility judges have shouldered here. It’s up to them to strike the balance between the protection of public health on one hand, and the provision of due process on the other. So far, it appears they’re doing as good a job as we could ask for.

Copyright 2021,

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