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Heller Line Update:
I predicted last week that the oral argument line for DC v. Heller would fill up very early, perhaps earlier than any case in Supreme Court history. Jan Crawford Greenburg reports that the line started this afternoon at 5:35 pm -- about 40 hours before the argument. (Thanks to Howard for the link.)
theobromophile (www):
Jason McCrory, 23, and Dan Mott, 21, started the line at exactly 5:35 p.m. Sunday. I know, because I happened to be standing out front myself, getting ready to file a report about the case for World News.

"Here's your story," a Supreme Court police officer yelled over to me, pointing to a sport utility vehicle that stopped across the street. Out came two guys with a bunch of stuff--rolled up blankets, plastic bags of water--and within minutes they'd found a spot at the foot of the Court's steps and settled in for the long haul.

Did these guys think that the Supreme Court would hand out Harry Potter books at midnight? Jimmy Buffett tickets?

Oh, to be young again.
3.17.2008 4:53am
Greenburg is clueless:
I'm glad that Ms. Greenburg was there to see the start of the line, and I appreciate Orin for bringing it to our attention. But Ms. Greenburg needs to have more respect for language, especially the language of the Constitution.

It is not true, as clueless Greenburg claims, that "The justices literally will be writing on a blank slate."

For the record: the Second Amendment consists of actual words with real meanings; it is not a blank slate.
3.17.2008 8:00am
Waldensian (mail):

For the record: the Second Amendment consists of actual words with real meanings; it is not a blank slate.

And let's not even talk about her use of the word "literally" here.
3.17.2008 9:10am
David A. Smith (mail):
I wonder if some of the people are professional line-standers. One sees this in spicy Congressional hearings; you pay somebody to stand in a spot for you until the Hour Approacheth, when you swap yourself in.
3.17.2008 9:27am
FantasiaWHT:
I read the headline and my first thought was that the odds in Vegas were changing on the outcome...
3.17.2008 9:40am
Sam Speer:
My line sitter is showing up this afternoon. I am hoping that should be early enough.
3.17.2008 9:47am
TerrencePhilip:
What do you do about bathroom breaks in a line like that?
3.17.2008 10:32am
PJ:
Reminds me of those good o' days of standing in line, and waiting for tickets to watch U2. Good times, good times.
3.17.2008 10:44am
OrinKerr:
Greenburg is clueless,

I think you are missing the difference between making a normative claim and a descriptive claim -- the former being what you think ought to be, the latter being what actually is. Greenburg is a reporter, and she was plainly making a descriptive claim; it seems pretty "clueless" to respond with a normative one.
3.17.2008 10:46am
theophilus (mail) (www):

What do you do about bathroom breaks in a line like that?


Thermos?

From experience, you just get the person behind you to agree to let you back in while you rush to the facilities. There's a general sort of civility among line standers.
3.17.2008 11:02am
Carl in Chicago (mail):
I strongly urge that some of you there in DC organize a sampling/poll of those people waiting in line....exhaustive sampling if possible.

Of primary importance would be to ask each if they generally support Respondent (Heller) or Petitioner (DC). Note sex, age, ethnicity, state of origin, etc. Get creative. This will only happen once, so make it a good and useful data gathering. It also might be interesting to compile audio or written comments based on the question "What does the second amendment mean to you?"

I predict that of those waiting in line, you will get 85-90% that support Heller. But regardless the outcome, these would be important numbers to take away from this "phenomenon."
3.17.2008 11:09am
andy (mail) (www):

"Out came two guys with a bunch of stuff--rolled up blankets, plastic bags of water"


Can someone explain to me why someone would carry water around in a plastic bag? Seems a bit odd to drink from a Ziploc or something when there are things called bottles.
3.17.2008 11:34am
z9z99:
Maybe people will hold up cigarette lighters during moving parts of oral argument.
3.17.2008 11:37am
therut:
They are probably using plastic bag like containers you use when camping not a zip lock. Heavy plastic square like.
3.17.2008 11:54am
Rodger Lodger (mail):
I wouldn't dream of standing in line; I'm going to watch it on my HD TV set.
3.17.2008 12:04pm
An0n:
This is the public line. I'd be very interested to hear what's going on with the bar line.
3.17.2008 12:14pm
Sam Speer:
Is there going to be a post-Heller after party?
3.17.2008 12:20pm
Pvt. Private:
I'd love it if someone figured out how to put a halt to the paid line-standers trading places with the jerks whose employers were stupid enough to pay for someone to stand in line for the complany employee.

The people standing in line for themselves, I've no problem with. But it would be nice if the police began saying, "No. You weren't in line. You don't get in. No trading places."
3.17.2008 12:22pm
Rock Chocklett:
Will it be even more difficult to get in to hear the announcement of the Court's ruling?
3.17.2008 12:51pm
Bruce:
I'll be interested to know when the lawyers' line starts forming.
3.17.2008 12:58pm
Cory J (mail):
What are they wearing? How would you shower beforehand?

I'd imagine you'd want to be wearing a suit or that the Court would at least have some kind of dress code. I know I start looking very disheveled after 18 hours or so. I couldn't see myself standing in line and managing to look presentable.
3.17.2008 1:37pm
Bill M:
I just walked by the line around 1 pm and it only had about 15-20 people on it. Couldn't tell how people were dressed because they all had coats and blankets on.
3.17.2008 2:26pm
Sebastian (mail) (www):
Is there going to be a post-Heller after party?

I don't know about you, but I'm going to wait until we we can chalk up the win before I throw any parties.
3.17.2008 2:51pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
This is the public line. I'd be very interested to hear what's going on with the bar line.

Well, it's St. Pattie's day, so I would assume that line's pretty long.
3.17.2008 2:52pm
Sam Speer:
I just walked by the line around 1 pm and it only had about 15-20 people on it.

ONLY?!?!?
3.17.2008 3:29pm
Jay Goodman Tamboli (mail) (www):
I don't know who they were, but there were people sleeping in sleeping bags outside the Court on Monday morning at 3 AM when I walked by. I guess I should have taken a picture.
3.18.2008 4:26pm