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Justice’s Ringing Cell Phone Halts Supreme Court Proceedings

In the middle of Supreme Court proceedings Tuesday, one noise stopped everything in its tracks.

People in the courtroom could hear the noise, but it wasn’t clear what it was immediately.

When the mystery was revealed, it left one Supreme Court justice red faced and some of his peers laughing.

the noise was a cell phone, and reporters believed it belonged to Justice Stephen Breyer.

All electronic devices are banned from the courtrooms of the ninth circuit, and while Breyer appeared embarrassed, other justices simply just laughed.

Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg brushed off the breach in protocol as a simple mistake.

“He doesn’t usually bring his phone and he forgot,” she said.

Reporters covering the session made note of the disruption.

At the time of the interruption, the court was hearing oral arguments for Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California.

The SCOTUS prevents visitors from taking “cameras, radios, pagers, cell phones, I-Pods [sic], MP3 Players, [and] other electronic devices” while the court is hearing oral arguments.

The ban also extends to lawyers arguing before the court and, presumably, to justices.

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