Egypt's top court says it has suspended its work indefinitely to protest "psychological pressures."
The Supreme Constitutional Court's announcement Sunday comes hours after it postponed a ruling on the legitimacy of an Islamist-dominated panel that drafted a disputed new constitution for the country.
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Several thousand supporters of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi gathered outside the Nile-side courthouse in Cairo to prevent the judges from entering.
The protest reflected the deep suspicion harbored by Egypt's Islamists towards a court they see as a vestige of the Hosni Mubarak era. The same court ruled in June to dissolve the Muslim Brotherhood-led lower house of parliament.
The court said in a statement it cannot work in a "climate filled with hatred" and that its judges could not enter the courthouse Sunday because they feared for their safety.
"(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," the court said in a statement.
"The court registers its deep regret and pain at the methods of psychological assassination of its judges," it said.
The judges also were expected to rule to on the legitimacy of another Islamist-dominated upper house of parliament, or the Shura Council.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report