An activist apparently managed to smuggle the first-ever known video recording of a Supreme Court hearing out of the storied building and posted it to YouTube yesterday as part of a protest against the court's pro-corporate Citizens United ruling.
The two-minute video apparently shows parts of two court proceedings: first, an October 2013 hearing in the case of McCutcheon v. FEC, called Citizens United Part 2 by activists; and second, an unrelated patent hearing this week in which a protester identified by the Wall Street Journal as Noah Kai Newkirk, 33, speaks out against Citizens United and is subsequently arrested. (Update: He goes by Kai Newkirk.)
Cameras are banned from the court, and only audio of most arguments has ever been released in public.
"I rise on behalf of the vast majority of the American people who believe that money is not speech, corporations are not people, and our democracy should not be for sale to the highest bidder," Newkirk says from the court pews on the video. "Overturn Citizens United. Keep the cap in McCutcheon. The people demand democracy." At that point, he is grabbed by gallery guards.
A spokeswoman for SCOTUS told WSJ that "Court officials are in the process of reviewing the video and our courtroom screening procedures."