US Supreme Court

Sitting across the street from the US Capitol Building, the Supreme Court houses the judicial branch of the United States federal government. It’s in an appropriately grand building built in the mid-1930s and fronted by imposing classical marble columns.

US Supreme Court building on a clear day
Last Updated:

Sitting across the street from the US Capitol Building, the Supreme Court houses the judicial branch of the United States federal government. It’s in an appropriately grand building designed by Cass Gilbert, built in the mid-1930s, and fronted by imposing classical marble columns. The doors are cast in bronze, and statues representing Liberty, Order, and Authority guard the entrance.

Photos of the Supreme Court

US Supreme Court building on a clear day

Contemplation of Justice

Supreme Court Renovation Scaffolding Front from South Side

Supreme Court Flag Pole Sculpture. 197-15500543

US Supreme Court building on a clear day

US Supreme Court Building Panorama

Supreme Court Flag Pole Sculpture with Capitol Dome. 197-15501646

US Supreme Court building

Getting Here

By far the best way to get the Supreme Court is by public transport–parking spots are in very short supply in the surrounding area. The nearest metro stations are Capitol South (Orange line; 0.5 miles) and Union Station (Red line; 0.5 miles).

Official Website

http://www.supremecourt.gov/

For Photographers

Cameras are allowed and photography is permitted inside the building but not in the Courtroom. The use of tripods is not allowed on the inside the building or on the plaza in front of the building; you can, however, use them on the sidewalk next to the street outside the bollards marking the grounds of the Supreme Court.

If you’re after something a bit more photojournalistic, it’s quite common for there to be protests on the plaza in front of the Supreme Court, especially when the court is in session. There’s no guarantee of when protesters will turn up. Your best bet is to keep an eye on the Washington Post‘s legal coverage to see when any particularly controversial topics come before the court or check the Supreme Court calendar.

Commercial shoots or filming require a permit.

Nearby & Related:

Washington DC Visitor Guides

If you're coming in from out of town, here are some of the most popular guidebooks that can help you make the most of your visit.

Fodor's Washington D.C.: with Mount Vernon, Alexandria & Annapolis...
151 Reviews
Fodor's Washington D.C.: with Mount Vernon, Alexandria & Annapolis...
  • Fodor's Travel Guides (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
Lonely Planet Washington, DC (Travel Guide)
67 Reviews
Lonely Planet Washington, DC (Travel Guide)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Planet, Lonely (Author)
Fodor's Washington D.C 25 Best 2021 (Full-color Travel Guide)
61 Reviews
Fodor's Washington D.C 25 Best 2021 (Full-color Travel Guide)
  • Fodor’s Travel Guides (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
National Geographic Walking Washington, D.C., 2nd Edition (National...
153 Reviews
National Geographic Walking Washington, D.C., 2nd Edition (National...
  • National Geographic (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

And here are some interesting options for less traditional guidesbooks if you'd like an emphasis on exploring DC on foot or diving into some of the region's rich history.

A History Lover's Guide to Washington, D.C.: Designed for Democracy...
104 Reviews
A History Lover's Guide to Washington, D.C.: Designed for Democracy...
  • Fortier, Alison (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)