In a rare change in its argument schedule, the Supreme Court announced Sunday night that it will begin its session early on Monday to accommodate the 11 a.m. moment of silence called for by President Barack Obama to honor the victims of the Arizona shooting.
Instead of 10 a.m., the Court will open its session at 9:50 so that routine matters including admissions to the bar can be concluded by 10, allowing the first argument of the day to end by 11. Obama called for a national moment of silence at 11 a.m. for "prayer or reflection" on the tragic events in Tucson which took the life of Arizona Chief U.S. District Judge John Roll and left Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in critical condition.
It is unusual for the Court to recognize exterior events in a formal way. For example, it routinely holds arguments on Election Day. But the judiciary has clearly been shaken by the Arizona shootings. Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. issued a statement on Saturday mourning "the terrible loss of one of our own."