A rare outburst occurred on Wednesday during a Supreme Court session when a man interrupted the proceedings to yell across the room. The man has been identified as Noah Newkirk, a resident of Los Angeles.
According to CNN, Newkirk’s outburst concerned the 2010 Citizens United decision, which loosened campaign finance laws on corporate spending. Among his slogans were “Money is not free speech!” and “Corporations are not people.”
Police quickly escorted Newkirk from the chamber and the justices did not acknowledge the incident. It also does not appear in the official court transcript.
Outbursts at the Supreme Court are rare. Court officials said the last occurrences were in 2006 and also twenty years prior to that. Reuters writes that the most high-profile instance was in 1983 when publisher Larry Flynt shouted obscenities at the bench during a libel case.
Yelling at a Supreme Court hearing falls under Title 40, Section 6134 of the U.S. Code., which says that it is “Unlawful to discharge a firearm, firework or explosive, set fire to a combustible, make a harangue or oration, or utter loud, threatening or abusive language in the Supreme Court Building or grounds.”
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.