Supreme Court Videotaped for the First Time in History

A protest group has just uploaded a video to Youtube that appears to be the first video of the United States Supreme Court while it was in session.

The Supreme Court does not allow cameras or any other recording devices or cellular telephones. Spectators, lawyers and reporters must pass through a metal detector before entering the courtroom. However, members of the 99Rise protest group appear to have shot video on two separate occasions over the last several months.

The more recent footage shows a courtroom protest on Wednesday by Noah Newkirk of Los Angeles. A 99Rise news release says group co-founder Kai Newkirk was the person who called on the court to overturn its 2010 Citizens United decision. Police removed him from the courtroom and charged him with disturbing the proceedings.

The first part of the video, which runs just over two minutes, is believed to be from October 8, during arguments for McCutcheon v. FEC. That case about contribution limits has yet to be decided. It is the court’s first major case regarding campaign finance since the Citizens United decision.

Newkirk is heard saying in the video, “I rise on behalf of the vast majority of the American people, who believe that money is not speech, corporations are not people and our democracy should not be for sale to the highest bidder. Overturn Citizens United. Keep the cap in McCutcheon.”

Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said the court is reviewing the video and courtroom screening procedures.

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