The Supreme Court is closing its iconic front entrance beneath the words "Equal Justice Under Law." Beginning tomorrow, visitors no longer will ascend the wide marble steps to enter the 75-year-old building. Instead, they will be directed to a central screening facility to the side of and beneath the central steps that was built to improve the court's security as part of a $122 million renovation. Visitors still may exit through the central doors and walk down the 44 steps to the street.
Two justices, Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, called the change unfortunate and unjustified. Breyer said no other high court in the world, not even Israel's, has closed its front entrance over security concerns. He said the main entrance and front steps "are not only a means to, but also a metaphor for, access to the court itself."