Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
The Supreme Court The Supreme Court - Image of hands holding a gavel.
Check local listings
Home Timeline Games Supreme Court History
SUPREME COURT HISTORY
The Court and Democracy
The Look of Authority
E-Mail this Page Glossary

The Look of Authority
The Supreme Court Chamber
The Supreme Court Chamber
The main chamber of the Supreme Court building acts as the public stage on which the justices perform their duties. In this space, cases are heard, decisions are passed down, and history is shaped. Cass Gilbert, the architect of the building, sought to produce a room befitting the import and gravity of the Court's proceedings. A 44-foot ceiling lends an air of grandeur to the chamber, while monumental marble architecture communicates stability, consistency, and the preservation of tradition. Both the architectural forms and the placement of furniture help to create a space that gives order to the Court's activities and that reflects the hierarchy of authority among the chamber's occupants.
1 2 3 4

Instructions: Roll over the highlighted portions of the images to learn how certain symbols, styles, and structures work to create and affirm the authority of the United States' highest court. BackNext

1 2 3 4