UPDATE: The Court has canceled its Tuesday sitting due to Hurricane Sandy, rescheduling oral arguments that were to take place tomorrow for Thursday, SCOTUSblog reports.
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As Washington and other East Coast cities stand virtually shut down as Hurricane Sandy is set to make landfall today, here’s one thing that we know: Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. is hard core.
The only government entity in the region – federal, state or local – that is not closed this morning is the U.S. Supreme Court, which will release orders and then hear oral arguments in two cases this morning. That decision rested entirely with the chief justice, who opted against canceling today’s session despite the shutdown of the Metro public transit system and other federal courts in the region.
Roberts perhaps felt the ante was raised by his predecessor, the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist, who famously refused to cancel oral arguments during a 1996 blizzard. One justice, Justice John Paul Stevens, missed the argument because he couldn’t get a flight out of Florida. Another, Justice David Souter, was late due to road conditions. Other justices were picked up and taken to the Court in four-wheel-drive vehicles.