The nine justices known to D.C. locals as “The Supremes” hold court—literally—in this Neoclassical palace across from the Capitol. When they’re hearing oral argument, public seating is a fascinating opportunity to listen in on debates, from the picayune to the philosophical, that can and do change the course of American history. Check the Washington Post’s Page 3 or the court’s Web site for a rundown of the day’s business, then get in line: choose a three-minute taste of the court, or spend a full hour observing the legal eagles. Lines form early; seating begins at 9:30. When court is in recess, the courtroom is open for half-hour public lectures.
Tip: Check the court’s Web site for “A Visitor’s Guide to Oral Argument,” a helpful who’s who of the players inside the courtroom.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.