Saturday, March 24, 2012

Day #2 started out pleasant enough. We woke up to the sounds of traffic and police chatter as the night shift was replaced with a fresh set of faces. Some of the line standers from the previous day had returned to relieve their friends and coworkers after a full night resting indoors. Carol and I walked down to Starbucks for a warm cup of coffee and a bathroom, while others took advantage of a Methodist building nearby that offered free showers and breakfast to those in line.

When we left Starbucks the overcast sky had already started to turn, and by noon the rain was coming down hard. We scrambled to cover our belongings as best we could with raised umbrellas, tarps, and spare ponchos, but everyone had something that was soaked by the end of the hour.

Reporters continued to filter in throughout the day, asking us questions about why we were dedicated enough to brave the downpour, and where we stood on the health care law. Since there were only four of us there who planned to see the arguments, we started to become very familiar with each others talking points (as much as we had any).

Carol is the only one who claimed to be against the law, though she qualified her statement by saying that she would prefer to do more research before stating a strong opinion one way or the other. (I was surprised that there weren't more people in line who were opposed to the law, especially considering the size of the tea party rallies that walked by).

Kathy is strongly in favor of the law. She has followed the health care litigation around the country to share her story as a mother of two children with pre-existing conditions who had trouble paying for health insurance as adults before their employers picked up the tab.

Despite the differences of opinion, the only tense moment between the crowd was instigated by an outsider to the group. There are two line standing companies employing people to save a seat for their clients. One of the company managers arrived at the Court line to find out that his people hadn't stayed in line where he thought they would be. He argued with the police, with the others in line who were less than pleased to be knocked down a few notches, and with the other company of line standers. Harsh words were said (including some mild threats), but the issue was finally resolved.

There is now an unofficial but written list of Supreme Court watchers waiting in line for the seats - Dana and I are 11-12 in line. The police handled it with professionalism, but how is this happening when it's only Saturday?

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