Visiting the Court
While you can visit the court any day Monday-Friday between the hours of 9am–4:30pm (except Federal Holidays) to tour the building, oral arguments only occur on a set number of days October-April.
To see if an oral argument is occurring on the day you plan to visit the court, check the Court's calendar HERE (oral argument days are in red).
If you do not wish to see an oral argument, but one is occurring on the day you plan to visit the Court, you may want to wait until the afternoon to visit the Court when the crowds will have dissipated.
The Court is located at 1 First St. NE, Washington, DC 20543. The closest metro station are the Capitol South Station on the Blue and Orange lines and Union Station on the Red Line.
If an oral argument is occurring and you wish to see it, then you will need to get to the Court before 9am to get in line. There is a risk that if a controversial case is being argued that not everyone in line will gain entry to the courtroom, but this is a rare scenario assuming you get to the court before 9am. The Court generally hears two one-hour arguments a day, at 10 a.m.. and 11 a.m.., with occasional afternoon sessions scheduled as necessary.
All oral arguments are open to the public, but seating is limited and on a first-come, first-seated basis. Before a session begins, two lines form on the plaza in front of the building. One is for those who wish to attend an entire argument, and the other, a three-minute line, is for those who wish to observe the Court in session only briefly. The Court asks that you do not hold a space in either line for others who have not yet arrived.
Seating for the first argument begins at 9:30am and seating for the three-minute line begins at 10am. The locations for these lines are marked with signs and there is a police officer on duty to answer your questions.
You will go through a security checkpoint as you enter the building and again as you enter the Courtroom. Weapons or other dangerous or illegal items are not allowed on the grounds or in the building. The Court asks that you refrain from taking the following items into the Courtroom when Court is in session: cameras, radios, pagers, tape players, cell phones, tape recorders, other electronic equipment, hats, overcoats, magazines and books, briefcases and luggage. Sunglasses, identification tags (other than military), display buttons and inappropriate clothing may not be worn. A checkroom is available on the first floor to check coats and other personal belongings. Coin operated (quarters only) lockers for cameras and other valuables are available. The checkroom closes 30 minutes after Court adjourns.