A spectator who dutifully waited in line to gain admission to the Supreme Court’s hearing today just popped up out of his seat and started heckling the Court. It’s times like this that you really wish the Court would join the mid-20th century and install a camera or two so we could see how hard Justice Alito’s eyes roll back into his head when the person he’s listening to isn’t even a Supreme Court justice. I’m guessing it looks like when a Great White bites down.
The cops yanked away the protestor soon after he began. But obviously he succeeded in changing the world before they did.
So what issue got this protestor so riled up that he crashed the Supreme Court?
We first got tipped off about the outburst from a tweet by Jess Bravin, Supreme Court correspondent for the Wall Street Journal:
Time, Place and Manners: Spectator disrupts #SCOTUS arguments, calls for overruling Citizens United before police remove him.
— Jess Bravin (@JessBravin) February 26, 2014
Once again, free speech doesn’t work like this. You cannot just interrupt the Supreme Court while it’s working. Free speech requires a national ad buy to interrupt everyone else while we try to relax. That’s the American way. Addressing your concerns directly to policymakers is for lobbyists, not you.
Impressively, Arthur Lien (@Courtartist) was able to get a sketch of the culprit before he was hauled off:
— Arthur Lien (@Courtartist) February 26, 2014
The protestor has been identified as Noah Newkirk of Los Angeles, who is being charged with using “loud threatening or abusive language” in the Supreme Court building. None of the justices responded from the bench, so it’s hard to say what their true reaction was.
But based on what we’re hearing of the protest, Justice Scalia was probably the most impressed. The merits of this pinko hippie’s beliefs aside, this guy launched into his tirade with gusto. This is how you advocate for a position, not by reading off notes.