“Maybe we should come back tomorrow and try this,” I thought. Sitting in the inner sanctum of America’s highest court, in a chamber never before made visible to the world in video or even color photographs, I struggled to summon the courage to do what I had come to: stand and interrupt the supreme court.
As I waited that February morning, listening to oral arguments about an obscure patent law case and taking in the room around me – the high, ornate ceiling, the giant red curtains and marble figures towering above the bench – the reality and gravity of the institution I had entered intruded into my thoughts.
I didn’t want to have to interrupt these people, Ginsburg and Sotomayor and Breyer, their actual presence becoming real as each justice spoke for the first time. I felt the deference that our highest court should deserve from every citizen. Yes, We the People should see the court as ours and the justices as our champions – ensuring that the law is on our side.
Back in the real world of the Roberts court, I focused on the people for whom I was there to stand up, who the court’s elitist majority had betrayed, and who I was determined not to let down. Finally, my cue came, and with a quick count of 1-2-3, I stood to speak. “I rise on behalf of the vast majority of the American people,” I declared in a brief protest captured on unprecedented video, “who believe that money is not speech, that corporations are not people, and that our democracy should not be for sale to the highest bidder.”