Egypt's top court ran for cover today, postponing a session which would have inevitably brought it into direct confrontation with President Mohamed Morsi.
Officials cited "administrative reasons" for the delay, although that might be seen as a peculiar description of several thousand supporters of President Mohammed Morsi surrounding the Supreme Constitutional Court.
The pro-Morsi demonstrators were holding aloft placards denouncing the judges and preventing members of the judiciary from entering the Cairo courthouse.
The court had been due to consider the legitimacy or otherwise of the Constituent Assembly and therefore the draft constitution it produced for consideration in a referendum scheduled for December 15.
The court issued a statement reading: "The judges announce the suspension of the court sessions until the time when they can continue their message and rulings in cases without any psychological and material pressures."
It added: "The court registers its deep regret and pain at the methods of psychological assassination of its judges."
Protesters began to gather outside the court on Saturday night and the officials said many of the judges did not show up at the court today out of fear for their safety.
The Supreme Constitutional Court had ruled in June to dissolve the Islamist-dominated People's Assembly, parliament's lawmaking lower chamber, on the grounds that a third of its members were illegally elected.
Another ruling from the court - regardless of which way it went - would be a direct challenge to Mr Morsi, who last month arrogated to himself near absolute powers, placing himself and the assembly above any oversight, including by the judiciary.
Mr Morsi's decrees caused an uproar among the nation's secular-led opposition.
Further stoking the anger, the constituent assembly rushed through a vote on the charter's 230 clauses last week in an all-night session.
Tens of thousands of the president's supporters had staged rallies across much of the country on Saturday, in part as a response to huge protests by the opposition on Tuesday and Friday.
The opposition is considering a call for civil disobedience to force Mr Morsi to rescind his decrees.
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