The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has recently decided to rule on more cases without hearing oral arguments, a trend the court’s clerk linked to “current circumstances” during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s not uncommon for the D.C. Circuit to rule on a case solely on the briefs. However, there has been a noticeable uptick of those decisions since the court’s March 17 order postponing all in-person oral arguments in light of the pandemic, and giving individual panels the option to hear phone arguments, postpone hearings to a later date or forgo arguments altogether.

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