Supreme Court of the United States
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Courtroom Seating


All oral arguments are open to the public, but seating is limited and on a first-come, first-seated basis. Before a session begins, two lines form on the plaza in front of the building. One is for those who wish to attend an entire argument, and the other, a three minute line, is for those who wish to observe the Court in session only briefly. Please do not hold a space in either line for others who have not yet arrived.

Seating for the first argument begins at 9:30 a.m. and seating for the three-minute line begins at 10 a.m. The locations for these lines are marked with signs and there is a police officer on duty to answer your questions.

Visitors should be aware that cases may attract large crowds, with lines forming before the building opens. Obviously there are unavoidable delays associated with processing and seating large numbers of visitors, and your cooperation and patience are appreciated. Court police officers will make every effort to inform you as soon as possible whether you can expect to secure a seat in the Courtroom.

Groups with reserved seats should line up to the right of the three-minute line.

You will go through a security checkpoint as you enter the building and again as you enter the Courtroom. Weapons or other dangerous or illegal items are not allowed on the grounds or in the building. Please refrain from taking the following items into the Courtroom when Court is in session: cameras, radios, pagers, tape players, cell phones, tape recorders, other electronic equipment, hats, overcoats, magazines and books, briefcases and luggage. Sunglasses, identification tags (other than military), display buttons and inappropriate clothing may not be worn. A checkroom is available on the first floor to check coats and other personal belongings. Coin operated (quarters only) lockers for cameras and other valuables are available. The checkroom closes 30 minutes after Court adjourns.

We do not recommend taking infants or small children into the Courtroom.

When the Court adjourns for lunch all persons must leave the Courtroom and the Great Hall. Persons attending the afternoon session must line up again on the Front Plaza to gain admission.



October 24, 2014 | Version 2014.1