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Outside the U.S. Supreme Court, back when that was a thing. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/ ALM

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday finished its sixth and final day of first-ever telephonic arguments with a few surprises and generally positive reviews. But did the virtual format affect the substance of the arguments and will there be any long-lasting effects?

The surprises included the full participation of Justice Clarence Thomas, the toilet flush heard around the country, and the knowledge that, like many of us, some justices forgot to unmute their phones at times. And the format had a definite impact on the tenor and substance of the arguments, according to several advocates who provided observations to The National Law Journal.

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Marcia Coyle

Marcia Coyle, based in Washington, covers the U.S. Supreme Court. Contact her at [email protected]. On Twitter: @MarciaCoyle

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