2 Suspicious Packages Found Outside Supreme Court Building

Web Staff
By Web Staff
October 8, 2019USshare
2 Suspicious Packages Found Outside Supreme Court Building
The streets outside the front of the Supreme Court are closed off for a suspicious package, in Washington on Oct. 8, 2019. (Mark Sherman/AP Photo)

WASHINGTON —The Supreme Court says police are investigating two suspicious packages that were found near the court just before the justices were to hear arguments over LGBT rights.

Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg says the packages were found Tuesday near an intersection between the court, the Capitol and the Library of Congress.

Police cleared the plaza and the sidewalk in front of the court, which had been filling with people ahead of the high-profile arguments.

The building remains open. Court is expected to convene on schedule at 10 a.m. EDT.

Arberg says the investigation involves Supreme Court and U.S. Capitol police.

U.S. Supreme Court
A police officer stands guard on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington on June 15, 2017. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

On Tuesday, the court will hear its first major cases on whether a federal law that bars sex discrimination in the workplace will cover gay and transgender employees. This is the court’s first LGBT-related case since Justice Brett Kavanaugh replaced retired Justice Anthony Kennedy, who used to write rulings for the issue.

The now conservative-majority court will also decide on whether states can bar government funding for religious schools, and whether the Obama-era DACA program can be terminated by the Trump administration. The program prevents illegal immigrants who entered the United States before they were 16 from deportation and gives them a work permit.

Nearly 700,000 people are registered in the program.

The justices will also hear debates on gun safety, including whether a New York law can stop residents from transporting their handguns outside of New York City and on a Louisiana law that puts restrictions on the state’s abortion clinics.

Justice Ruth Ginsburg is back in court after her cancer treatment. The 86-year-old liberal-leaning justice’s health is being closely watched.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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