Senators, Supreme Court Justices Face Work From Home Hiccups This week we've witnessed consequential moments in our nation's history — hampered by the same online hiccups we all face at work and in school.
NPR logo

Senators, Supreme Court Justices Face Work From Home Hiccups

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/856594205/856594206" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Senators, Supreme Court Justices Face Work From Home Hiccups

Senators, Supreme Court Justices Face Work From Home Hiccups

Senators, Supreme Court Justices Face Work From Home Hiccups

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/856594205/856594206" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

This week we've witnessed consequential moments in our nation's history — hampered by the same online hiccups we all face at work and in school.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This week, we saw some of the ways the country's trying to adjust to our new stay-at-home world.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PAMELA TALKIN: God save the United States and this honorable court.

(SOUNDBITE OF GAVEL BANGING)

MARTIN: Supreme Court business always starts with those words from the marshal. On Tuesday, with participants connecting remotely, Chief Justice John Roberts invited the first lawyer to speak. Then...

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PATRICK STRAWBRIDGE: Before these cases - Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the court, the subpoenas at issue here...

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It sounded like attorney Patrick Strawbridge had already begun talking, but then he went back to the beginning of his opening statement. To many people listening in, it was painfully familiar. We are all dealing with the same online hiccups, whether in an elementary school Zoom class or in deliberations at the highest court in the land.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ADAM POSEN: So at a time when fiscal policy is as much or more in the forefront than monetary policy in their interactions...

INSKEEP: Just before Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell appeared in an online event this week, audience members heard him clearing his throat as he was introduced by the president of the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

POSEN: It's very hard to imagine we could have anyone better than Jay Powell, which he's now in.

MARTIN: The most memorable glitch during lockdown, of course, was what happened during Supreme Court arguments last week.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ROMAN MARTINEZ: And what the FCC has said is that when the subject matter of the call...

(SOUNDBITE OF UNIDENTIFIED NOISE)

MARTINEZ: ...Ranges to this topic, then the call is transformed.

MARTIN: At this week's Senate committee hearing with Dr. Anthony Fauci and others, the room was mostly empty as participants in quarantine dialed in from their living rooms and home offices. Senator Tim Scott was one of the few physically present.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

TIM SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And to the panel, thank you all for being here virtually. Without any question, we find ourselves in a situation that we wish we were not.

MARTIN: Many of us would agree. And there's maybe some shared sense of commiseration. Senators, Supreme Court justices - they're just like us, managing the stress of working from home and all the mishaps that come from it.

Copyright © 2020 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.