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Supreme Court to resume public tours

Starting Thursday, the building will be open to visitors on weekdays when the court is not hearing arguments.
Chairs of U.S. Supreme Court justices sit behind the courtroom bench on July 9, 2019.
Chairs of Supreme Court justices behind the courtroom bench on July 9, 2019. Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg via Getty Images file

The Supreme Court announced Monday that it will reopen to the public this week in another step toward resuming its practices before the Covid pandemic led to strict limits on who could enter the building.

Starting Thursday, the building will be open to visitors from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays when justices are not hearing arguments, according to the court's website. A spokesperson for the court confirmed the reopening plans.

The move marks the latest return to pre-pandemic operations at the high court. In October, the court began allowing visitors to attend arguments, but the building was otherwise closed to the public.

Before March 2020, visitors could tour the court, view exhibits and visit the cafeteria and the gift shop.

The recent steps to reopen come amid heightened concerns about how the public views the court after it struck down the constitutional right to an abortion, as well as concerns about the safety of justices.

A fence was erected around the building in May after the leaked abortion ruling sparking protests around the court and the homes of some of the justices. An armed California man was charged with attempted murder after he was arrested outside conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s Maryland home in June.

The fencing around the Supreme Court was removed in August.