top of page

Supreme Court Building

Updated: Jul 29, 2020

Exterior of the Supreme Court Building

Overview: Housing the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court Building is the location of the highest level of the American judicial system. It is situated a block east of the Captiol Building and adjacent to the Library of Congress. This is the location where history altering court cases have been determined and where the public rallies to hear the decisions of the court. Landmark cases such as Roe v. Wade, Brown v. Board of Education, Obergefell v. Hodge, Texas v. Johnson, and a plethora of other important cases have helped shape the state of the union in its’ own right.

The Destination: The US Supreme Court

Completed in 1935, this building has been the national symbol of the judicial branch of the United States Government and has been the location of a wide variety of court cases that have affected the union. Before the construction of a specific building to house the court, the Supreme Court was held in the old senate chamber of the Capitol Building and is open to public tours.

Many protests and rallies occur outside the building on days of oral arguments and decision announcements many of which often occur in late spring. The public can take a tour inside on weekdays and hear oral arguments on certain months. Entrance into the Supreme Court Building has been moved from the main entryway to a point on ground level for security.

The public can take a self-guided tour through the main hall with busts of previous justices, courtroom lectures, historical exhibitions, the cafeteria, and a small movie theatre showing a Supreme Court film. At certain times, lectures take the public on a tour of the court room where no videos or pictures are allowed.

Travel Recommendations

When the court is in session, only those attending court or guests are allowed inside so it is always a good idea to check the schedule to see if a tour is available before going. On days when the court is in session, the public can attend the arguments either in the 250 person public seating or through a 5-minute standing room in the back of the court room. The public seating generally fills up quickly with students and officials.


1 First St NE, Washington, DC 20543


bottom of page