The line for Tuesday’s argument on the minimum-coverage provision technically began the minute the first person in line declined a ticket for Monday. Given my position in line (turns out I was 38th for Tuesday), I made this same choice, knowing I’d never forgive myself if I saw the Anti-Injunction Act argument and 20+ more people showed up for Tuesday before Monday’s argument finished. As it happened, I was still last in line for Tuesday as Monday’s observers exited the Court. I definitely don’t regret ensuring that I would witness perhaps the biggest argument of my lifetime. I do regret not applying sunscreen earlier. I now have one of the biggest sunburns of my life.
(Scroll over to see the date and time for each of these pics)
The Tuesday line for members of the Supreme Court bar had begun forming by nearly 3 P.M. on Monday. Word!
The next two pictures were taken around 4:30:
Weather reports predicted overnight temperatures in the low-to-mid 30s. We braced ourselves for an incredibly difficult night. With my four layers of clothes and 30-degree sleeping bag, which almost weren’t enough, I got about an hour of sleep and many more hours of mindless torpor. Turns out semi-severe sunburns and concrete quartering aren’t at all compatible. The two people to my right didn’t get any sleep in their night-long struggle to stay warm with only a minimal level of coverage. (pun intended.) A group of Georgetown Law students to my left partook of communal tarps and blankets in an impressive consolidation of precious body heat.
An illuminated pow-wow:
The bar line and the end of the general-public line (7:04 A.M.):
Monday’s police officer explained to us (7:34 A.M.) that a Tuesday ticket is good for Tuesday only—accepting it will mean losing one’s place in line for Wednesday. This was fine with all of us, as we have brains.
I was the 38th to receive a ticket:
We fortunate few were then escorted inside in groups of about 10. I, for one, bellowed jubilantly upon being received into an environment that wasn’t literally freezing. We went through security and got something to eat and/or drink at the Court cafeteria. I went to the bathroom and shed several layers. Ticketholders 1 through 63(?) were instructed to line up at 8:30.
Everyone ahead of me:
We waited here about 10 minutes, then walked upstairs, dropped our belongings off, went through security again, and lined up in approximate numerical order (to the extent that everyone was ready to) to enter the Court. We were inside by 9 A.M.