According to Roll Call, at least seven U.S. senators were wearing an Apple Watch during President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial this week, despite rules of decorum that say no electronic devices or phones are permitted in the chamber.
Senate leadership guidelines state that all electronics should be left in the cloakroom during the trial in storage that is provided to the senators for the purpose of storing such devices so they cannot be used.
Six Republican senators and an aid to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are among those counted by Roll Call actually wearing the watches, with one Democratic senator also wearing one.
Some newer versions of the Apple Watch have their own cellular capabilities, meaning they don’t require a paired phone to make phone calls, send and receive texts, or access the internet.
Though no accusations of wrongdoing have been levelled against the senators as of yet, it is still against the rules to have access to a device capable of outside communications during a trial.
Wearable tech is a rapidly popular and growing market, and many people — senators included — may simply be accustomed to wearing a smartwatch as an accessory or timepiece without intending to use it for communication, particularly when instructed not to do so.
The U.S. Supreme Court also has a strict ban against electronics in the courtroom, including Apple Watches.
Fitness tracking is also a major benefit of smartwatches; however, running, swimming, and even standing are not permitted during an impeachment trial.
Source: Roll Call