Demonstrators on Friday were arrested on the U.S. Supreme Court steps during an Occupy the Courts rally to protest its 2010 Citizens United decision.
A Supreme Court representative said court police arrested 12 demonstrators on the court grounds as of 3:30 p.m., including one protester arrested inside the building.
We #occupythecourts because decisions like Citizens United allows unlimited spending by corps. to drown out the voice of the people, @OccupyKSt posted to Twitter.
The protest was part of a nationwide effort to occupy federal court houses across the country in protest of the Citizens United ruling that opened the door for corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money in elections on free speech grounds.
On Twitter, those on the scene posted pictures of demonstrators atop the Supreme Court steps, where rallies are prohibited. Streaming video of the event, filmed by Occupy protesters, showed a line of police officers blocking access to the Supreme Court steps.
The Legal Times reported that police put up a fence on the sidewalk along the length of the Supreme Court steps. It also reported that plainclothes officers were taking videos of the crowd, possibly more than a hundred, with handheld cameras.
Since the Occupy demonstrations started to heat up, the Supreme Court has been a magnet for protests. An Occupy D.C. group held an October protest that resulted in the arrest of 19, including Cornel West, the public intellectual and Princeton University professor.
The law prohibiting protests on the Supreme Court steps was recently challenged by 34 demonstrators who were arrested at a 2008 event.