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.
AmenitiesOpen / Closes
- Accessible by Public Transportation
- Handicapped Accessible