Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg announced the arrests soon after the high court began hearing oral arguments on Tuesday. Those who were arrested will likely be charged with illegally demonstrating at the Supreme Court. Such activities are banned on the court's plaza looking out toward the U.S. Capitol.
The protests are timed to mark the year of the 35th anniversary of the execution of Gary Gilmore, who protesters said was the first person executed under the Supreme Court's upholding of the death penalty in 1976.
Protesters say there have been 1,277 more executions since then, with at least three more scheduled for this month.