Presenting oral arguments at the Supreme Court seems like a high-pressure situation that usually applies to older attorneys.

What would happen if, near the beginning of oral arguments, lead counsel for one side had a stroke or other incapacitating event? What if there was a car crash on the way (such that they did not arrive)?

Has this happened before, and if so what happened next?

1 Answer 1


The Supreme Court sets its own rules for scheduling and process. I think they'd be pragmatic and postpone/reschedule the argument.

An example:

In an extremely rare move, the Supreme Court has postponed the first oral argument scheduled for its new term Monday, South Carolina v. North Carolina. An announcement from the Court came Sunday night. The official reason given was that "family illness" has left Eric Miller, assistant to the U.S. Solicitor General, unable to argue in the case.

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