WASHINGTON – The decision to close the main entrance to the Supreme Court because of security has drawn the protest of two justices.
Beginning Tuesday, visitors will have to enter through a central screening facility located on the side of the building. It’s part of a $122 million renovation of the Supreme Court’s 75-year-old building.
The decision means visitors will no longer ascend the 44 marble that end under the words “Equal Justice Under the Law.” Many visitors object.
“It really brings the whole entire vision of the Supreme Court to fruition,” said Detroit resident Rob Galecki. “It makes you feel it.”
The change is based on recommendations from two separate security studies.
The court explains: “The entrance provides a secure reinforced area to screen for weapons, explosives, and chemical and biological hazards.”
“If they have to do something for more security, maybe that’s the best way to do it, but this is beautiful,” said Lauren Uthes, a Detroit resident. “I don’t know why they would want to take it away from people.”
Supreme Court Justices Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg went so far as to issue a news release, written in the style of a dissenting legal opinion, on the decision to close the entrance.
Breyer writes in a statement ‘joined by Ginsburg’, “I certainly recognize the concerns identified in the two security studies… But potential security threats will exist regardless of of which entrance we use.”
“I kind of agree with the justice,” said Illinois resident Kathy Bogolia. “I don’t think I like the idea of going in another way. It’s our building, it’s the public’s building.”
Visitors will still be able to exit through the main doors and walk down the steps to the street.