For the first time in eight years, the staidness of the Supreme Court was shaken up by an outburst from a protester yesterday. During a debate on attorney fees in patent lawsuits, a well-dressed man rose near the back of the courtroom to blast the court's 2010 Citizens United campaign finance decision, CNN reports. He shouted slogans like " Money is not speech," "Corporations are not people," and "Overturn Citizens United," before police removed him after a brief scuffle, reports Reuters.
None of the nine justices commented on the outburst, which didn't make it into the official transcript. The last such interruption was during a debate on late-term abortion procedures in 2006, court officials say, and there was another protest in the chamber around 20 years ago. The protester, later identified as Noah Newkirk of Los Angeles, has been charged with making a "harangue or oration, or utter[ing] loud or threatening or abusive language in the Supreme Court Building," SCOTUSblog reports.