Supreme Court of the United States
Skip Navigation LinksHome > Oral Arguments > Courtroom Seating

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, a line forms on the sidewalk in front of the building. Please do not hold a space for others who have not yet arrived.

Seating for the first argument begins at 9:30 a.m. The Supreme Court Building will otherwise be closed to the public on days when the Court is in session. 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.

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.

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

When the Court adjourns, all persons must leave the Courtroom and the Great Hall. If there is an afternoon oral argument, persons attending the afternoon session must line up again in front of the building to gain admission.


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