Monday, March 26, 2012

Sunday evening has passed in a flash. After the protest ended around 4:00 the sun broke through the cloud cover for some much welcomed sunshine.  Kathie and I decided to skip the rest of the religious protest to make a trip to Starbucks and charge our batteries (technological and physical).  

Our line has quadrupled in size, rounding the corner on East Capitol. A count at 8:00 put the number at approximately 47.  If the Court continues its policy as stated on Friday - 60 chairs for the general public - everyone in line will get a seat. If they want one. 

The line now goes down the street and around the corner.

The crowd is buzzing with strategies for tomorrow morning. No one knows for sure how the Supreme Court police will handle the difference between those waiting for Monday and those willing to stick through the extra night for Tuesday and Wednesday. If you go inside tomorrow morning, do you automatically sacrifice your seat for future arguments? 

For a standard oral argument, watchers know which day they want to attend because any other day would be an entirely unrelated case. The healthcare arguments, however, are split over three days, with different topics marked for discussion on separate days. Very few people in line (really no one) are interested when I ask them about the Anti-Injunction Act that will be heard on Monday. But it will be the historic first day of oral arguments, and that has a certain attractive symbolism. 

Tuesday will be the constitutionality of the individual mandate, and most people perk up for that. Then they pause to consider the extra night sleeping on the DC streets. Who goes in tomorrow and who will wait it out is still anyone's guess, and probably will be until 7 AM tomorrow (or now that it's after midnight, today).

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