Cairo, Egypt - In two decisions on the same day, Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court ruled that the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated parliament must be dissolved, and that former officials in the administration of ousted President Hosni Mubarak - ie: former prime minister Ahmed Shafik - should be allowed to stand for president.
The way in which the ruling was reached was quickly taken by much of the crowd waiting outside the court as endorsing the country's military rulers - past and present - sparking protests within the gathering, which surged towards a barbed wire barricade.
"The message of this historic verdict is that the era of political score-settling has ended," Shafik told supporters.
But the protesters remained unconvinced, with many saying that the judiciary had been expected to rule in favour of the establishment.
"I think all the judges ... they don't rule from their heads; they rule from the head of the army," 18-year-old engineering student Mohammed Maher told Al Jazeera.
"The son of a rich man becomes rich, and the son of a poor man stays poor."