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COVID-19 Related News Articles

Track all of the news articles about the federal Judiciary's response and recovery during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

Courts Suspending Jury Trials as COVID-19 Cases Surge

Published onNovember 20, 2020

About two dozen U.S. district courts have posted orders that suspend jury trials or grand jury proceedings, and scale back other courthouse activities in response to a sharp nationwide rise in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases. The surge in new court orders in recent weeks marks a significant pause in efforts by federal courts to resume full operations.

Grand Juries Carry on During Pandemic

Published onOctober 27, 2020

As the federal courts have gradually resumed operations with new pandemic-era health and safety rules in place, one aspect of the courts’ mission is on a fast track: the resumption of grand jury proceedings.

Courts Making Juror Safety a Top Priority

Published onSeptember 10, 2020

A small group of judges around the country have presided over jury trials during the COVID-19 pandemic. The number is growing as the backlog of criminal cases becomes an increasing concern among courts acutely aware that defendants are entitled to a fair, impartial, and timely trial. 

Federal Judges Reinventing the Jury Trial During Pandemic

Published onAugust 27, 2020

A group of federal judges around the country are reinventing the jury trial so that it is not only a fair forum for the administration of justice, but also a safe experience for everyone in the courtroom, including defendants and jurors.

As Courts Restore Operations, COVID-19 Creates a New Normal

Published onAugust 20, 2020

When coronavirus (COVID-19) cases spiked in March, court practices changed almost overnight, relying on virtual hearings that make it possible to conduct most court-related activities without coming to the building. Now, with courts seeking to restore in-person proceedings, one thing already is clear: Justice in a pandemic environment will have a very different look and feel.

Defenders Work to Ensure Due Process Amid Pandemic

Published onAugust 19, 2020

Of the many challenges that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has imposed on the ongoing operations of federal courts, some of the toughest are being faced by federal defenders, who are on the front lines working to overcome unprecedented threats to their clients’ safety and constitutional rights.

Judges, Lawyers Bring Life Skills to Virtual Classroom Activities for Home and School

Published onAugust 6, 2020

High school teachers can bring real-life civics into their virtual lessons when they invite federal judges and volunteer attorneys to facilitate a civil discourse and decision-making simulation with students at home or in the classroom this fall.

Some Courts Slow Reopening Plans as COVID Cases Rise

Published onJuly 16, 2020

At a time when some states are backtracking on plans to restore business and government operations, a number of federal courts also are slowing plans to reopen courthouse doors as coronavirus (COVID-19) case numbers escalate in many states.

Even During COVID, Courts Find Ways to Welcome New Americans

Published onJuly 7, 2020

When the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic first forced courthouses to limit access to the general public, one of the first events to be canceled was an especially joyous rite: the naturalization of new U.S. citizens.

Judge Testifies at House Hearing on Pandemic Impacts

Published onJune 25, 2020

Through a combination of advance planning, expanded use of technology, and the dedication of thousands of employees, the federal Judiciary’s response to the pandemic has enabled courts to continue to operate, while ensuring the health and safety of the public and court personnel, U.S. Senior District Judge David G. Campbell told Congress on Thursday.

Judiciary Employees Find Ways to Help During Pandemic

Published onJune 23, 2020

Learn about the countless Judiciary employees across the court system who have volunteered to help people in need in their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A New Road to Citizenship in Detroit

Image of a drive-through naturalization ceremony

Published onJune 18, 2020

Federal judges in the Motor City are embracing a novel approach to welcoming people eager to take their citizenship oaths in the age of coronavirus: Drive-through naturalization ceremonies.

Virtual Internships Provide Inside Look at Court

Published onJune 16, 2020

For more than a decade, an annual summer intern program hosted by the Northern District of Alabama has given law students a vivid close-up view of the criminal and civil process.

Officers Innovate in the Field During COVID-19 Crisis

Published onJune 11, 2020

Federal probation and pretrial offices replaced many of their face-to-face operations with digital alternatives to protect the well-being of officers, the individuals they supervise, and the public, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Officers now utilize an array of telephone and video conferencing and location monitoring services, administer drug tests remotely, and facilitate telemedicine sessions to fulfill investigative and supervision duties from afar.

Judiciary Issues Report on Restarting Jury Trials

Published onJune 10, 2020

A comprehensive new report on conducting federal jury trials and convening grand juries during the pandemic details the number of factors for courts to consider, from changes to prospective juror questionnaires to creating safe spaces for jurors to deliberate safely.