COVID-19 Mental Health and Supreme Court Issues
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Stanford Legal co-hosts Pam Karlan and Joe Bankman discuss the ramifications of the virus, both on mental health issues and the procedural issues faced by the Supreme Court during this time.
Sharing his expert opinion, Bankman provides advice on how to deal with mental health in response to so much disruption in our daily lives and during such a unique time. “For some people, this is a threat to their economic stability. They haven’t seen ever really faced layoffs before and some people may be facing it. And then there’s a health scare—the word pandemic hasn’t been used before. So there’s a lot of new experiences for us and on the whole, they’re not going to be positive experiences. The question is how can we best cope.”
Specifically, Bankman recommends to rely on what works for you during normal times to relieve stress and do that even more. He also reminds of the importance of exercise in daily routines.
With significant experience with the Supreme Court, Karlan discusses the potential logistical issues that the Supreme Court faces during this unprecedented time. As the Supreme Court has famously resisted the live broadcast of oral arguments, the Court will hear arguments in the coming months by telephone and plans to release the audio feed to the press.
In addition to questions about the lack of visual cues without in-person arguments, Karlan questions “whether this will be an opening wedge in providing more immediate access to the public for Supreme Court arguments by allowing the public to listen to the arguments, while they are actually occurring.”
While some cases have been postponed, the cases the Supreme Court has decided to hear by telephone are time-sensitive, Karlan says. “There are two cases that involve the so called faithless electors problem” which Karlan asserts that “we do need to know the answer to that before the 2020 election. There are three cases that involve a subpoenas that were issued either by the House of Representatives or by the state of New York to get Donald Trump’s tax returns. Well, that’s something that has a shelf life to it. It’s important for the Court to try and come up with a way of doing its business and getting that business decided before it goes out for the summer.”