Tension in court: Justice Bernstein complains after he’s put on mute

Associated Press

Lansing – The stress of video conferences: Michigan’s chief justice apologized Wednesday after a colleague on the Supreme Court was put on mute while trying to speak to a lawyer.

“As a blind person, I’m not able to use Zoom. So I’m at an extreme disadvantage,” said Justice Richard Bernstein, who participated in two cases by phone.

“I don’t think there’s any circumstance or situation, where if a justice is asking questions, where they are muted before they’ve indicated that they have concluded their line of questions,” Bernstein said.

The court in April began using video conferencing to hear cases because of the coronavirus.

Chief Justice Bridget McCormack said it was her fault that Bernstein was silenced.

“I believe I cut you off to move on to the next justice,” she said.