The COVID-19 pandemic forced courts across the country to close their physical doors and rely exclusively on video conferencing technology. While some courts used video for decades, there is very little empirical research on the use and impact of video in courtrooms. A scan of social science research shows that communicating over video can alter an interaction, making it more difficult for participants to understand each other, speak up, and relate to each other. The widespread use of video court was borne out of necessity during the pandemic. Given the high stakes of the criminal courtroom, particularly when an individual’s liberty is at risk, policy makers and system actors must be hypervigilant when making decisions about video’s continued use following the public health crisis. This paper presents social science research to inform the long-term debate about video’s role when courts can safely reopen.