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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

United States Supreme Court Closes Its Doors

Unfortunately, acts of terrorism is in the news again. The recent attempted car bombing in New York City highlights and further ignites the discussion concerning how to act against and prevent acts of terrorism in our country. Confronting and defeating terrorist acts while maintaining the democratic principals our country was built upon will be a constant challenge for this country. As the Simple Justice blog highlighted, symbols of our democracy will sometimes be sacrificed to keep citizens safe. This week the United States Supreme Court announced that it will no longer permit entry through the two front doors at the top of the building's steps. Rather, the general public will have to enter through two side doors on the ground floor. The symbolism of walking up the inspiring forty four marble steps and entering the building under the words "Equal Justice Under Law" represented an ideal to citizens that is difficult to compare against entering on a side door on the ground floor.

Supreme Court Justice Breyer and Ginsburg issued a separate statement calling the new procedure unfortunate and unjustified:
To my knowledge, and I have spoken to numerous jurists and architects worldwide, no other Supreme Court in the world- including those, such as Israels's, that face security concerns equal to or greater than ours- has closed its main entrance to the public. And the main entrances to numerous other prominent public buildings in America remain open. I thus remain hopeful that, sometime in the future, technological advances, a Congressional appropriation, or the dissipation of the current security risks will enable us to restore the Supreme Court's main entrance as a symbol of dignified openness and meaningful access to equal justice under law. 
Whether you agree or disagree with the decision, unfortunately these are the times that we live in. It is sad for those who have never walked up the steps to the highest court of the land in the pursuit of equal justice.

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