The Volokh Conspiracy

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Occupy One First Street


Over at SCOTUSblog, Mark Walsh reports on protests inside the Supreme Court this morning, on the fifth anniversary of Citizens United:

Just after the Justices had taken the bench at 10 a.m., and as they were about to announce opinions, a woman stood from her seat near the back of the courtroom and said, "I rise on behalf of democracy." She continued with a mention of Citizens United, the 2010 ruling that removed limits on independent political expenditures by corporations and unions. Three Supreme Court police officers quickly converged on her . . .

As what at first seemed like the lone demonstrator was removed, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. quipped, "Our second order of business this morning …" to laughs from the crowded courtroom.

But before he could finish that thought, a second demonstrators stood and said, "One person, one vote." . . . As the second protestor was being approached by officers, a third and a fourth one stood and uttered similar lines.

The Chief Justice was heard to mutter, "Oh, please."

As more officers entered the courtroom to deal with those protestors, a man in a back corner stood and said, "We are the ninety-nine percent[.]" . . . After he delivered the line, this protestor looked around nervously as there were no police officers immediately near him.

As another protestor rose near the same corner, the Chief Justice felt obliged to come to the aid of the police force. "We have a couple of more over here," Roberts said, pointing to the corner.

After six or seven demonstrators had said their lines and were removed, which had taken several minutes, it appeared the protest was over.