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Federal Circuit, Behind Protest Barrier, Cancels Arguments (1)

June 5, 2020, 12:22 PM; Updated: June 5, 2020, 4:34 PM

The Federal Circuit has canceled telephonic oral arguments scheduled for Friday because its building is inaccessible, the court announced late Thursday.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit sits in the National Courts Building on Lafayette Square, the scene of protests over the last week following the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis. The building is now inside an expanded White House security perimeter.

The Federal Circuit, and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims housed in the same building, will be closed to the public and staff through at least June 7 “in order to permit officials to make preparations to accommodate large crowds expected to gather in the vicinity of the White House over the coming weekend,” the court said in a statement.

The fence will stay up until June 10, the U.S. Secret Service said in a statement.

The court sent staff home after oral arguments June 1 and June 2 on the advice of law enforcement, according to a court representative. Court staff has been facilitating telephonic arguments from the building since April. The clerk’s office will be “temporarily inaccessible” for paper filings Friday but electronic filing is unaffected, the court said.

Three cases were scheduled for argument, including a fight between the Pentagon and Oracle Corp. over a $10 billion government cloud-computing contract awarded to Microsoft Corp. The arguments will be rescheduled for a later date.

—With assistance from Cheryl Bolen

(Updated with additional reporting throughout.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Perry Cooper in Washington at pcooper@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Keith Perine at kperine@bloomberglaw.com

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