U.S. Supreme Court

SCOTUS spectator is charged after interrupting arguments

A California man who stood during Supreme Court oral arguments on Wednesday and began expressing his opinions on Citizens United has been charged with violating federal law.

Noah Newkirk of Los Angeles was charged with violating a law that bans “a harangue or oration” or “loud or threatening or abusive language in the Supreme Court Building,” report CNN and the New York Times. SCOTUSblog has a courtroom artist’s rendering of the incident.

“Corporations are not people,” Newkirk said. “Overturn Citizens United.” The 2010 decision found that corporations have a First Amendment right to support political candidates with independent spending.

The court was hearing oral arguments in a patent dispute when Newkirk interrupted. CNN says the justices ignored the incident and the official transcript had no reference to the man’s statements.

Hat tip to How Appealing.

We welcome your comments, but please adhere to our comment policy and the ABA Code of Conduct.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.