Supreme Court Experience Gets A Little More Lame

Posted: May 03, 2010 2:03 PM
Visiting the Supreme Court is a unique experience. Dozens of impressive marble steps lead you up to even more impressive marble pillars, and when you finally walk into the building, you start to feel the austerity in the pit of your stomach.

I'm not saying that feeling is crucial to the function of a well-oiled democracy, but it certainly doesn't hurt. And you won't be able to have it anymore.

Architects have removed the front entrance as a functioning entrance to the Supreme Court because of two security studies conducted shortly after 9/11. Instead, visitors get to walk around to the side of the building for screening, and walk through a visitors entrance. You'll still get to leave from the front, but -- who wants that?

Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg don't want that. In a very weird condemnation of the new policy, Breyer explained that the front steps "are not only a means to, but also a metaphor for, access to the court itself."
Breyer said no other high court in the world, not even Israel's, has closed its front entrance over security concerns.
The change is part of a $122 million renovation.