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Fix the Court Attends Two Major Cases

A long line of people hoping to hear the Jan. 18 cases formed early that morning.Our executive director Gabe Roth went to the Supreme Court on Jan. 18 to hear oral arguments in two of the term’s most interesting cases – on whether an all-Asian band called “The Slants” can trademark its name, given that “slants” is often used a racial slur, and whether government officials may be held personally liable for questionable post-Sept 11 security decisions.

Even though he arrived at the building at 5:50 a.m., he was one of the last members of the public allowed in to hear the cases. While the courtroom seats more than 250 people, the vast majority of the spots are reserved for attorneys, press and guests of the justices, and many of those seen in the photo at right were left out in the cold.

Fix the Court had petitioned the justices to post audio of Wednesday’s hearings online that very day, as they have done about two dozen times in the past, but they turned down our request, even though it had included a petition signed by Americans from all 50 states.

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