Magazine

Jun 28, 2016

Behind the scenes of the Supreme Court Of The United States

Behind the scenes of the Supreme Court Of The United States

Laboring in a white marble building insulated from the sounds of any protesters outside, the Supreme Court clings to its own steady rhythms regardless of the politics of the day and changes in its own ranks.

Behind the scenes of the Supreme Court Of The United States
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Dappled light falls across books shelved in the library at the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington January 28, 2016. JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS

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Reporters wait for the release of the text of the justices' opinions, timed to match the readings of the decisions from the bench, at the Supreme Court in Washington, U.S. June 6, 2016. JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS

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U.S. Supreme Court justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor sit on stage as they talk about the role of food in the life of the U.S. Supreme Court at the National Museum of American History in Washington, U.S. June 1, 2016. JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS

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U.S. Deputy Solicitor General Michael Dreeben departs the U.S. Justice Department in traditional morning coat on his way to argue his one-hundredth case before the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, U.S. April 27, 2016. JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS

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Television journalists prepare for a news conference on the plaza in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building, in Washington, U.S. June 9, 2016. JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS

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An anti-abortion protester demonstrates outside the U.S. Supreme Court building on the first day of the court's new term in Washington, October 5, 2015. JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS

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A guard stands on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, U.S., October 5, 2015. JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS

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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg shows the many different collars (jabots) she wears with her robes, in her chambers, at the Supreme Court building in Washington, U.S. June 17, 2016. JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS

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U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts eats a bowl of soup as he sits down to lunch with his team of clerks in his private study at the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, U.S. June 15, 2016. JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS

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A collection of Supreme Court bobblehead dolls and a football signed by Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly are seen among law books in U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts's private study at the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, U.S. June 15, 2016. JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS

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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan walks with her clerks in one of the four inner courtyards at the Supreme Court building in Washington, U.S. June 20, 2016. JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS

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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer looks for a favourite volume of Proust in his rare book collection in his chambers at the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, U.S. June 8, 2016. JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS

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Carved oak walls and arches are seen in the reading area of the library at the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, U.S. April 4, 2016. JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS

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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas jokes with his clerks as he describes their decision-making process in his chambers at the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, U.S. June 6, 2016. JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS

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Pencils, a reminder of how to address the court and a seating chart of the justices are seen at the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, U.S. June 20, 2016. JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS

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Name plates mark the spaces reserved for justices' families in the courtroom of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, U.S. April 4, 2016. JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS

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Visitors sit on a marble bench under a portrait of former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis at the U.S. Supreme Court building on the first day of the court's new term in Washington, U.S. October 5, 2015. JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS

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A clock hangs above the bench in the courtroom of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, U.S. April 4, 2016. JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS

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Red velvet drapes hang at the back of the courtroom at the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, U.S. June 20, 2016. JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS

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The courtroom of the U.S. Supreme Court is seen in Washington, U.S. April 4, 2016. JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS

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Historical and mythical figures of the law are seen in a frieze in the courtroom of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, U.S. April 4, 2016. JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS

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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy delivers a lecture for visiting international attorneys in the West Conference Room at the Supreme Court building in Washington, U.S. June 20, 2016. JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS

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Visitors look on as attorney John Duggan (R) takes photos with his family, after arguing a case at the U.S. Supreme Court building, on the first day of the court's new term in Washington, U.S. October 5, 2015. JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS

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Elevator operator Johnnie Bacon, from Washington, smiles at a passenger as he tends one of the elevators in the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, U.S. April 4, 2016. JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS

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People hold umbrellas on a rainy day at the plaza by the Supreme Court in Washington, U.S. November 10, 2015. JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS

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A notice is seen on a lectern, which faces the bench and where lawyers stand to argue, in the courtroom of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, U.S. April 4, 2016. JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS

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A marble staircase leads down to an elevator at the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, U.S. October 5, 2015. JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS

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A circular staircase is seen in the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, U.S. January 28, 2016. JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS

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Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy delivers a lecture for a group of history and government teachers in the West Conference Room at the Supreme Court building in Washington, U.S. June 20, 2016. JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS

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