At about the same time the Supreme Court was issuing decisions Tuesday morning, an important trial about the Supreme Court was getting underway at the D.C. Superior Court.

Thirty-five anti-war demonstrators who were arrested inside and outside the Supreme Court on Jan. 11 went on trial for violating 40 U.S.C. 6135, which makes it unlawful to “parade, stand, or move in processions or assemblages” in the Court building or grounds or to display a “flag, banner, or device designed or adapted to bring into public notice a party, organization, or movement.” That unusual wording has been defended by the government as serving the goal of not giving the public the idea that the Supreme Court can be swayed in its decision-making by public opinion or protests.

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