Bomb Scare as Supreme Court Hears LGBT Cases

Update below.

About an hour before the Supreme Court was set to hear three groundbreaking cases involving claims of discrimination against LGBT people, police cleared the streets after a man dropped off a suspicious package.

"U.S. Capitol Police Report to follow Streets Closed for Police Activity. Follow Police Direction," the Washington, D.C. Police Department announced on Twitter. The department also tweeted a map of the streets that had been closed.

Conservative writer John Wesley Reid was at the scene. "At the [Supreme Court] all crews are being relocated due to a suspicious package," he tweeted.

A liberal activist in the area listened to a police radio and reported what he heard. "So I'm told a guy dropped a suspicious package at the Supreme Court, turned around to look at it, then dropped a couple more packages," he tweeted.

The Associated Press reported that police are investigating two suspicious packages found at the intersection between the Supreme Court, the Capitol, and the Library of Congress.

While police cleared the plaza in front of the Court, the building is open and the Court will hear arguments at 10 a.m. as scheduled.

The cases before the Court this morning revolve around the question of whether the federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex also forbids discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Liberals claim that it should be illegal for LGBT people to be fired for their identities. Conservatives counter that the law was clearly never intended to apply in this manner, and that at least one of the terminations in question did not involve discrimination.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.

Update 10:33 a.m. Eastern: 

D.C. Police have announced that the streets are clear, the threat is passed.

Follow Tyler O'Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.