Visiting the Supreme Court

October 2, 2011

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.

Building hours and entrances: Monday – Friday (except Federal Holidays); 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; Closed on Saturday and Sunday

Visitors may enter the building from the Plaza doors located on each side of the main steps. A wheelchair accessible ramp is located along Maryland Avenue on the left side of the building. Click here for a graphic showing the Visitor Entrance.

All visitors must pass through security screening before entering the building. During the months of March – June, visitors should anticipate longer wait times to enter the building due to larger crowds visiting the Nation’s Capital.

Location: The Supreme Court of the United States is located on First Street NE between East Capitol Street and Maryland Avenue, adjacent to the U.S. Capitol and the Library of Congress.

Courtesy of Supreme Court of the United States Web site.

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