The Supreme Court says it’ll close to the public starting at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, including public tours and lectures, though official business will continue:
Out of concern for the health and safety of the public and Supreme Court employees, the Supreme Court Building will be closed to the public from 4:30 p.m. on March 12, 2020, until further notice. The Building will remain open for official business, and case filing deadlines are not extended under Rule 30.1.
The announcement came hours after Congress shut down the U.S. House and Senate office buildings until April 1. According to the Court’s official calendar, the next scheduled meeting for the justices is their conference on Friday, May 20, a closed-door meeting where justices make decisions on rulings and which cases to take up in the future. The next oral argument, which is typically open to the public at limited capacity, is slated for March 23. Unlike several other federal courts, the Supreme Court doesn’t currently live broadcast its hearings through video or audio.
Five out of nine of the Supreme Court justices are old enough to collect Social Security, and two are over 80, making them especially vulnerable to the coronavirus. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the oldest member of the Court, turns 87 on March 15, and has a history of cancer, including a bout with lung cancer in December 2018. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, 65, has type 1 diabetes.
This is a developing story.