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Capitol Hill

Supreme Court

1 First St. NE
Washington, D.C., 20543, United States
TEL: (202) 479-3000

The nine justices known to D.C. locals as “The Supremes” hold court—literally—in this Neoclassical palace across from the Capitol. When they’re hearing oral argument (October–April, with breaks), public seating is a fascinating opportunity to listen in on debates, from the picayune to the philosophical, that can and do change the course of American history. Check the Washington Post’s Page 3 or the court’s Web site for a rundown of the day’s business, then get in line: choose a three-minute taste of the court, or spend a full hour observing the legal eagles. Lines form early; seating begins at 9:30. When court is in recess, the courtroom is open for half-hour public lectures, and a ground floor theater continuously rolls the 24-minute film, “The Supreme Court” year round.

Tip: Check the court’s Web site for “A Visitor’s Guide to Oral Argument,” a helpful who’s who of the players inside the courtroom. 

Admission: Free.


Open / Closes
  • Accessible by Public Transportation
  • Handicapped Accessible



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