SCOTUS Justice Neil Gorsuch draws comparison between Jan. 6 rioters and Rep. Jamaal Bowman pulling a fire alarm.

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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch on Tuesday drew a comparison between January 6 rioters storming the Capitol and Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) pulling a fire alarm before a congressional vote.

While hearing arguments over whether the Justice Department acted in an overbroad fashion by charging a January 6 defendant with obstructing an official proceeding, Gorsuch questioned what kinds of actions violate the law, which can carry a sentence of up to 20 years in prison for a conviction.

“Would a sit-in that disrupts a trial or access to a federal courthouse qualify? Would a heckler in today's audience qualify or at the State of the Union address? Would pulling a fire alarm before a vote qualify for 20 years in federal prison?” Gorsuch said to U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar, who was representing the federal government.

“If you have some minor disruption or delay or some minimal outbursts, we don't think it falls within the actus reus [physical acts that make up a crime] to begin with,” Prelogar responded.

Conservative SCOTUS justices raised concerns during the oral arguments about the Justice Department charging defendants under this law.

Justices were hearing an appeal from Joseph Fischer, a former police officer who seeks to dismiss the charge. He — and Donald Trump, who is also charged with the crime — argues the law does not apply to his conduct during the January 6 insurrection.