Protesters invaded the hallowed halls of the Supreme Court on the fifth anniversary of the controversial “Citizens United” ruling. Now, extremely rare video footage has emerged from the incident in which seven protesters were arrested (embedded above).
Video footage is prohibited inside the Supreme Court’s hearings and on January 21st, demonstrators who oppose “Citizens United” were able to sneak in a camera and disrupt the proceedings in order to make their views heard by the most powerful judges in the land. One by one the seven protestors stood up and shouted phrases like “one person, one vote,” “money is not speech,” and “we are the 99 percent,” before being taken into custody by authorities. They face federal charges that include making “a harangue or oration” or uttering “loud, threatening, or abusive language in the Supreme Court building or grounds.”
It’s unclear how a video recording device was smuggled into the court room. Supreme Court hearings are open to the public, but visitors must pass through a metal detector before entering. The first known video footage to surface from inside the court was recorded last February.
The “Citizens United” ruling has proven to be one of the most contentious in the history of the court. It holds that corporations are legally people and that the spending of money is equivalent to exercising free speech, opening a floodgate of corporate money into the political system. It’s critics equate the ruling to legalizing bribery.