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Supreme Court weathers hurricane at work

The U.S. Supreme Court apparently opens rain or shine, with more of an emphasis on rain Monday as it is scheduled to hear two cases, despite Hurricane Sandy barreling across the East Coast.

Though the rest of the federal government and federal courthouses shut down and courthouses in Maryland closed Monday, the Supreme Court started hearing arguments at 10 a.m.

The Supreme Court has decided that it will cancel Tuesday’s sitting. Oral arguments scheduled for tomorrow will be heard on Thursday.

The SCOTUSblog reports:

“The two cases that will go over from Tuesday to Thursday are Chaidez v. U.S. (11-820), on retroactivity of the decision in Padilla v. Kentucky on required legal advice to clients when they are considering guilty pleas that may lead to their deportation from the U.S., and Bailey v. U.S. (11-770), on whether police may detain a suspect away from the site of a search for which they have a warrant, while they carry out the search.”

Apparently, it is a nightmare to reschedule oral arguments before the nation’s highest court. According to CNN, the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist, a weather-worn Wisconsinite, would call court employees into work even during the most crippling of snowstorms, one time sending cars with four-wheel drive to pick up justices from their snow-covered homes.

Whether the Supreme Court will open the rest of the week remains unclear. Chief Justice John Roberts will make the final call whether to shut down due to the ever-evolving weather.

The court will hear oral arguments in a case considering a challenge to a federal law that allows for electronic surveillance on international phone calls and emails, NPR reports.

It will also hear arguments in a case looking at copyright protections, considering whether they extend to books and other intellectual property made overseas, but sold in the United States.