Jurors often meandered through halls and sat on stairs for hours waiting for deliberation rooms. Worse, while deciding their verdict within the deliberation rooms, jurors could still be heard by hallway passersby's. By 1948, when the court's name changed to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, numerous judges and government officials began lobbying for new facilities. Nevertheless, the courts remained in the deficient City Hall Building until the 1952 completion of its current home.
The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia heard a number of significant cases. In 1954, the court presided over charges brought against four Puerto Rican nationals that boasted membership in an anti-American political party. They reportedly came to Washington to demonstrate their desire for Puerto Rican Independence, and did so by entering the House of Representatives and firing upon congressmen from the observation gallery. Fortunately no deaths occurred, but the court found all four guilty of assault with intent to kill, and assault with a deadly weapon; they sentenced each to lengthy prison terms. The defense attempted to have the defendants considered insane at the time of the crime, but the presiding judge declined; this motion was later refuted by the Court of Appeals.
The court also heard a case connected to "Watergate." Here the indictments involved highly publicized alleged violations of federal statutes by certain members of the White House staff and political supporters of President Nixon. Pursuant to these allegations, Chief Judge Sirica ordered "to have produced before trial certain tapes and documents involving identified conversations and meetings between the Chief Executive and others. The President responded to the challenge by claiming executive privilege and filed a motion to quash the subpoena, which met with denial of this use of executive privilege. On June 5, 1972, after hearing Nixon v. Sirica, the circuit court upheld the District Court's "Watergate" decision to disallow this use of executive privilege. The U.S. Supreme Court later upheld the lower courts' decisions, and the tapes produced led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. In January, 1998, Grand Jury proceedings under Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr commenced at the courthouse. The purpose was to investigate President Clinton's actions during the Jones v. Clinton sexual harassment lawsuit. The Office of Independent Counsel found that President Clinton had obstructed justice by lying under oath and concealing evidence of his relationship with a young White House intern and federal employee, Monica Lewinsky. On September 9, 1998, The Office of Independent Counsel submitted a Referral to Congress with eleven possible grounds for impeachment of President Clinton. The result was the impeachment of President Clinton by the House of Representatives on December 19, 1998 for lying to the Grand Jury and Obstruction of Justice.