The only two illegal photos taken inside the US Supreme Court in session, 1932-1937

There are only two known photographs of the inside of the US Supreme Court during the session. The United States Supreme Court does not allow cameras in the courtroom during court sessions, a policy that is the subject of much debate. Although the Court has never allowed cameras in its courtroom, it does allow audio recording of oral arguments and views.

The first photograph was taken in 1932 by a German photographer named Erich Salomon. He decided to enter a camera in the Supreme Court saying that he had broken one arm so that he could hide his camera inside his sling.

As we can see, Salomon was able to take a good shot, which was later published in Fortune magazine and captioned as the first photo showing the Supreme Court in session.

Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes is the big bushy mustache in the beach. Justices Louis Brandeis (creator of the constitutional right to privacy) and Harlan Stone (future Chief Justice and 'rational ground test') are in this photo, among others.

The second illegal photograph was taken in 1937 by a young woman who had managed to hide the camera. This photo was published in Time magazine on June 7, 1937.

The Time article declared that the photo was taken by "an enterprising amateur, a young woman who hid her tiny camera in her handbag, cutting a hole through which the lens looked, resembling an ornament. Practice shooting from the hip, without using the camera's finder inside.

The young photographer was never named and his identity still remains a mystery. This is also the only photo where all the nine judges of the court have been captured in a single shot during a session of the Supreme Court.

The reason cameras have been banned in the courtroom dates back to 1946 when the court enacted Federal Rule 53. It states: Unless otherwise provided by any statute or these rules, the court shall not permit the taking of photographs in court. judicial proceedings or transmission of judicial proceedings from the courtroom.

In 1972 the United States Judicial Convention adopted "a prohibition against broadcasting, television, recording, or taking photographs in and around the courtroom." The prohibition contained in the Code of Conduct for Judges of the United States applies to criminal and civil matters.

Supreme Court judges argue that cameras adversely affect the dynamics of proceedings. Recently, many judges have been more open to the idea of ​​cameras in the courtroom, possibly paving the way for rule changes in the near future.

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