Trials & Litigation

Grainy footage of US Supreme Court hearing is featured in protest video posted on YouTube


Cameras aren’t allowed in the U.S. Supreme Court.

So a protest video posted Wednesday on YouTube is apparently the first online footage to show the public the nation’s top court at work, albeit in a limited, shaky and grainy manner, from the back of the courtroom, according to Reuters.

The verbal outburst Wednesday by a man identified by the court as Noah Newkirk of Los Angeles, concerned his objection to a 2010 decision in earlier Supreme Court case, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. The protest, which was made during a hearing in an apparently unrelated patent case, resulted in the arrest of Newkirk. Police allege he violated a law banning “loud, threatening or abusive language” in the Supreme Court.

The video footage on YouTube also appears to include part of an October 2013 argument in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, a campaign-finance case that hasn’t been decided yet by the Supreme Court, the article notes.

A spokeswoman told Reuters in a Thursday email that “court officials are in the process of reviewing the video and our courtroom screening procedures.”

A group called 99Rise is mentioned at the end of the video. The group retweeted tweet from Newkirk that says: “Just released from jail after anti-corruption protest in Supreme Court yesterday.”

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