Called to order: Supreme Court holds 1st arguments by phone

WASHINGTON (AP) — It’s been a morning of firsts for the Supreme Court: the first time audio of the court’s arguments was heard live by the world and the first arguments by telephone. The changes are a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which has made holding courtroom sessions unsafe. The experiment that began Monday could propel the court to routinely livestream its arguments. The phone arguments ran smoothly. The justices asked roughly two questions apiece. The chief justice occasionally interjected to keep things moving. And there was one mild surprise: Justice Clarence Thomas asked questions for the first time in more than a year.