On the first day of the new U.S. Supreme Court term, the justices returned to the courtroom for regular business for the first time since March 2020, but there was nothing regular inside and outside of the pandemic-era courtroom.

The first day typically finds the ground level of the court building teeming with tourists of all ages. At the foot of the stairs to the upper Grand Hall, a long line of people would be standing to get seats in the courtroom for oral arguments. And, in the main corridor, suited lawyers would be waiting to be called upstairs for their scheduled swearing in for the Supreme Court bar.