Supreme Court of the United States

FAQs - Visiting the Court

Note: The Court will hear all scheduled oral arguments for the Term in the Courtroom. Seating for the oral argument sessions will be provided to the public, members of the Supreme Court Bar, and press. The three-minute line is temporarily suspended. The Supreme Court Building will otherwise be closed to the public on days when the Court is in session.

On days when the Court is not in session, the building will be open to the public from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., excluding weekends and federal holidays. Courtroom lectures are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Please refer to the 30-day rolling calendar for available lectures. Visitors may view ground floor exhibits and portions of the first floor on a self-guided basis. The cafeteria and gift shop are open to the public.

 Where is the Supreme Court located?

The Supreme Court of the United States is located at 1 First Street, NE between East Capitol Street and Maryland Avenue. View Map.

 What are the Court’s visitor hours?

The Supreme Court is open to the public Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding federal holidays. To obtain updated information on visiting the Supreme Court please call (202) 479-3211.

 Do I need tickets or reservations to visit the building?

No, the building is open to the public and all visitor programming is free and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

 How much time should I allow to visit when the Court is NOT in session?

A suggested visit would last approximately 1 - 1 1/2 hours: 30 minutes for the Courtroom Lecture and 30-60 minutes to view the Exhibitions and public areas of the building. During the peak visitor months of April through June, visitors should anticipate longer wait times to pass through security.

 May I visit when the Court is in session?

Yes, visitors are permitted to enter the building while Court is in session. The First Floor is closed on Court days except to those attending the session; therefore visitors are permitted only on the Ground Floor where they may view the Exhibitions or access the Cafeteria and Gift Shop.

Courtroom Lectures are NOT available while the Court is in session.

 Is photography permitted inside the building?

Yes, visitors may take photographs in public spaces for personal use. However, no photography is allowed inside the Courtroom at any time.

 How do I know when a case is scheduled for oral argument?

The Supreme Court Calendar is located on the home page. To find out what cases are on the Court’s Docket for oral argument, click on the argument days that are highlighted in red. The list of cases will appear below the calendar. Additional information on each case can be found by clicking on the case name and then again on the Questions Presented link.

Oral Argument Calendars are also available in both an HTML and PDF format. Click here.

 Where do I find information about courtroom seating and attending oral arguments?

All oral arguments are open to the public, but seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-seated basis. Before a session begins, visitors who would like to attend oral argument may form a single line on the plaza in front of the building.

At approximately 9:30 a.m., police officers will begin to seat those who wish to attend an entire argument. Shortly thereafter, police officers will also begin a "three-minute line," which provides visitors the option to observe the Court in session for a brief period of time.

Please note that three-minute seating is NOT available during non-argument Court sessions. These sessions are open to the public and seating is available on a first-come, first-seated basis.

For additional details, see Courtroom Seating and the Visitor's Guide to Oral Argument.

 What time should I start lining up to attend oral argument?

Visitors should be aware that cases may attract large crowds, with lines forming well before the building opens. Seating in the Courtroom is limited and cases may draw crowds of varying sizes; therefore it can be difficult to predict an arrival time that will guarantee seating. Seating for a session begins at 9:30 a.m. Visitors may begin lining up on the Front Plaza as early as they feel comfortable.

 Are there lockers or a checkroom available to visitors?

Yes, but they are only available for use by visitors who are attending a Court session. The checkroom and lockers are available on the First Floor. Please be advised that the checkroom closes 30 minutes after Court adjourns.

 What am I prohibited from bringing into the building?

Before entering the Supreme Court Building, all visitors are screened by a magnetometer and all personal belongings are screened by an x-ray machine. To ensure the safety of visitors and staff and to preserve the collections, facilities, and historic building and grounds, please see the list of items strictly prohibited inside the building and in the Courtroom while Court is in session.

 Does the Court require certain attire for attending a Court session?

Sunglasses, identification tags (other than military), display buttons, and inappropriate clothing may not be worn in the Courtroom when Court is in session.

 May young children attend Court?

Yes, but given the formal nature of Court sessions, it is not recommended for infants or small children. Visitor programs such as the Courtroom Lectures and Exhibitions are appropriate for all ages.


SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES 1 First Street, NE Washington, DC 20543