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Showing Up at SCOTUS Before Dawn: The Only Way to Guarantee a Seat

On Feb. 29, Fix the Court executive director Gabe Roth and Bloomberg BNA reporter Kimberly Robinson wanted to hear arguments in a Supreme Court case about a state supreme court judge from Pennsylvania who may have had a conflict of interest in a capital case.

To guarantee that they were able to experience the case in real time as it unfolded, they had to arrive at the Supreme Court early. And on that day, early meant 4:45 a.m.

Click here to watch a video they made about the wait.


One woman, whose son was on the legal team opposing the potentially conflicted judge, arrived about two hours after Roth and was not granted entrance to the court.

In all, fewer than 100 members of the public (see line at 7:18 a.m. at left) were able to sit in the courtroom to hear oral argument – not only in the aforementioned case but also in the first case of the day.

That’s right – we’re talking about the one in which Justice Thomas asked a question from a bench for the first time in 10 years.

Fix the Court believes that all Americans – and not just those who are in Washington when the court is in session and are able to wait in line for five hours – should have the ability to watch Supreme Court oral arguments and opinion announcements live online.

Click here to read more.

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