Monday, March 26, 2012

After waking up once again to an abrupt 3:00am shower (thank you Supreme Court sprinklers - what would this experience be without you?), I took another head count and our line had grown to 80 participants over night. About half of the people I spoke with expressed interest in Tuesday's oral argument, but many others had been worn out by the cold night and acquiesced to hearing Monday's case.

At 7:30 the police instructed the line that 60 people would be admitted, and no one would be allowed a second viewing. The police walked down the line, handing out small slips of paper that held a viewer's official number in the line to the Courtroom. In half an hour the line separated, leaving approximately 40 people still standing on the sidewalk waiting for Tuesday and 12 who were unable to receive a seat. The latter were happily escorted inside the building when the police returned with more seats for the general public.

He felt a lot differently when the initial cut-off said no one after 60 would get in.

No one who wanted to see the Court's Monday arguments was left out. Even those who had arrived the morning of were able to claim the additional seats allocated to the public. From the point of view of someone who was expecting a line of epic proportions, I was a little disappointed. It's possible that Tuesday will see a significant turn out for the debate over the individual mandate, but as of 9:00 tonight it still looks like everyone in line will be able to get a seat. Not that this is a bad thing, but it gives me a different perspective on sleeping on the sidewalk for four days.

Protests continued throughout the day, including several tea party members and ACA supporters. Rick Santorum appeared briefly for a comment, but other than the emphatic chanting of pro-healthcare slogans, the event was uneventful.

As for the Anti-Injunction Act arguments that were heard today, the general consensus from viewers is that it is extremely unlikely the Court will rule that that the healthcare requirement is a tax, not a penalty, and that case should be postponed until after the law goes into effect.

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