Thursday, April 05, 2007

Visiting the Supremes

I'm interested in organizing a small group of students from my law school to visit the Supreme Court in the Fall and observe oral arguments. The Supreme Court's website seems to indicate that access is limited to a first-come, first-serve basis. Does anyone have any experience with this? Any shortcuts?

3 Comments:

Blogger Nico Jacobellis said...

I viewed a couple "opinion announcements" a few years ago (it was near the end of the term and no arguments were scheduled). For these you had to show up hours ahead of time to get a spot. They only let in perhaps 50 "normal" folks (not SC bar members, or those with special invitations, etc.). However, I've heard that a more mundane matter, such as the argument in a bankruptcy case, is dead easy to go see. Probably the less appealing the argument the higher the chances you'll get in without showing up at 6:00 am (which is what I did).

4/05/2007 1:08 PM  
Blogger Luis Villa said...

Shortcuts are available; a class from UVa got in ahead of us (without waiting) when I visited for the Grokster case. I have no idea how those are arranged, though- it may take very good connections.

If you don't get such a connection, depending on the cases being argued that day, you may have to wait as long as overnight. When I saw grokster I showed up at 10pm the night before and was still very nearly the last person in.

4/05/2007 3:57 PM  
Anonymous Learned Foot said...

It is possible to get reserved seating for oral arguments by contacting the Marshall of the Supreme Court. There is some discussion here:

http://www.supremecourtus.gov/oral_arguments/guideforcounsel.pdf

where it looks like the Marshall will make arranges for groups of up to 15. My guess is you'll have better success using a connection of some sort to, especially if it's a high-profile case.

4/06/2007 12:07 PM  

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