The Supreme Court is on fire this week!
No, not literally. But with the death of Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the country is hyper focused on what our President and Senate are going to do to fill (or not) her vacant seat.
This makes it the perfect time to talk about how your group can work a visit into your next trip to Washington DC. Many groups visiting DC spend at least a few hours on Capitol Hill. Your student tour company can help you plan a guided visit of the Capitol and a walk through the Library of Congress. Depending on how much time you have, you should also plan to visit the US Supreme Court Building. It’s a short five-minute walk from the Capitol and is open on weekdays from 9:00am – 4:30pm.
While guided tours are not available, your group can take a self-guided tour of the public areas of the building. This includes watching the Visitor Film, browsing the Exhibitions, or perhaps attending a Courtroom Lecture, a short 30 minute program designed to introduce visitors to the judicial system and processes. These lectures are free and generally happen every hour on the half hour. Seating is first come, first-served.
Even more special is the opportunity to attend court and listen to oral arguments. Again, seating is available on a first come, first-served basis and can be extremely limited so you’ll need to arrive early. If you have a large group, it’s probably best to skip this activity. You can check the online calendar to see which days have arguments scheduled.
Things To Know
Your group will pass through airport-like security at the entrance of the building so your students should not bring large bags or backpacks.
No pictures please! No photography or video recording is allowed.
One chaperone is recommended for every ten students.
There is a cafeteria on the ground floor, which serves sandwiches, soups and the like.
For more info, check out the official website.
There are plenty of student tour companies who run amazing trips to Washington DC. It’s worth spending some time checking out company profiles and reading through reviews written by group leaders like you. And if you need help deciding on your company, our Tour Company Worksheet might be just what you need.