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John G. Browning, a Partner at Spencer Fane LLP.

We’re all going a little stir-crazy during this pandemic, but sometimes it seems that someone has turned the occasional oddness of the legal system up to 11. Recently, we had the U.S. Supreme Court making history with its first telephonic oral arguments, and all anyone can talk about is “the flush heard ’round the world.” In the midst of oral arguments during Barr v. American Association of Political Consultants, and just as attorney Roman Martinez was arguing that the right to robocall is protected by the First Amendment, the distinctive sound of someone flushing a toilet projected across the court’s live audio. Was the culprit a tech-challenged justice who forgot to mute? We may never know, but the incident certainly gave new meaning to live streaming or “doo” process.

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