Inside the Supreme Court: A Unique Experience
Unplugged in the Courtroom
While the Supreme Court is filled with journalists, no laptops or cellphones are allowed inside. Only pen and paper accompany the reporters as they cover the proceedings. This strict policy sets the stage for a unique and immersive experience.
Within the courtroom, even the smallest sounds become amplified. The jingling of keys or the shuffling of papers break through the silence. It is a reminder of the gravity and solemnity of the space. As I settled into my seat, my case preview pamphlet slipped to the floor, causing an audible disturbance.
A View from the Press
The press occupies an area to the left of the bench, but securing a good view is not guaranteed. The presence of large marble columns draped in red curtains with gold trim can obstruct the sightlines. However, the spaces between the columns offer glimpses of the courtroom, depending on the reporter’s vantage point.
An Intimate Perspective
From my seat in G-1, I had a nearly perpendicular view of the justices themselves. I could observe the likes of Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch, Clarence Thomas, and Brett Kavanaugh. Though Chief Justice John Roberts, Justices Samuel Alito, Elena Kagan, and Ketanji Brown Jackson were harder to see, I could discern their presence by paying close attention to their distinct voices and body language.
Inside the courtroom, there is absolutely no flexibility in seating arrangements or body positioning. Any attempt to change seats or lean for a better view is swiftly addressed by the vigilant staff monitoring the press. It is a reminder of the need to maintain decorum and respect the rules of the Supreme Court.
One Chance for Observing Arguments
Once the press exits the courtroom during arguments, re-entry is not permitted. Several reporters chose to leave before the conclusion of the case, with some departing after notable figures like Trump attorney Jonathan Mitchell and Jason Murray had their turn at the lectern. The decision to leave early can impact the depth of one’s understanding of the proceedings.
Laughter in the Halls of Justice
While the Supreme Court maintains a serious atmosphere, there are moments of levity that punctuate the proceedings. Even the justices themselves can provoke laughter with their comments. One such instance occurred during an exchange between Mitchell and Kagan. Mitchell agreed with one of Kagan’s points, prompting her to jokingly declare her correctness, resulting in laughter from the audience.
Another lighthearted moment arose from a question regarding the order of specific arguments. Kagan interjected as Jackson transitioned to another point, seeking clarification on the sequence. Chief Justice Roberts’s reassuring response diffused the confusion and elicited laughter from those present.
Read More of this Story at www.cnn.com – 2024-02-08 23:04:00
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