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Another Update on the Heller Line:
I was at the Supreme Court this morning to hear the Rothgery argument, and I checked out the line for Heller while I was there. Or rather, the line checked me out: When I was walking up the Court steps at around 10:50 am, I heard a person yell "Professor Kerr!," and found two GW Law students, Tyson Horrocks and Ryan Haws, parked out in lawn chairs reading from casebooks while waiting in line. They told me that they arrived at about 11:30 last night, and I think they were the #3 and #4 persons in line. By 10:50am, when I arrived to hear the Rothgery argument, I think they were still the end of the line.

  By about 12:20, when the argument in Rothgery was over, I checked the line again. The line had expanded to about 12-15 people, most of them students and about half them law students. Some from GW, some from Georgetown, some from Harvard. As you might expect, most or all were strong Second Amendment supporters. Morale seemed high, at least at 12:30 or so, no doubt helped by the sun that was out and was warming up the plaza outside the Court. Tyson and Ryan were pretty well-prepared, with lots of food with them and lots of reading, too. (Bonus points for Ryan -- when I checked in after the argument, he was reading from a certain Computer Crime Law casebook.) Reinforcements were expected tonight in the form of pizza delivered by Mrs. Horrocks & Haws; given that the temperature tonight will get down to about 35 degrees, I'm sure some hot pizza will be much appreciated.

  Anyway, I'll blog about the Rothgery argument shortly; in the meantime, I wanted to get out the important latest scoop on the Heller line.
The Ace:
How is the line handling certain sanitary issues that will inevitably arise with eating and drinking and being outdoors?
3.17.2008 4:19pm
Ex parte McCardle:
It's interesting that you make explicit that "most or all [are] strong Second Amendment supporters." What, you mean they believe that a well-regulated Militia is necessary to the security of a free State?
3.17.2008 4:30pm
iwg2:
The Library of Congress' fountain is close by. Just a thought...
3.17.2008 4:30pm
PLW:
"Mrs. Horrocks &Haws"

I hope those are their wives and not their mothers, because that would just be sad.
3.17.2008 4:36pm
OrinKerr:
PLW:

Yes, wives.

Ex Part McCardle:

In my experience, a general practice in describing a person's basic views about a constitutional provision is to use strength as a proxy for impact or signficance; thus you might describe a person as believing in a strong reading of the provision (it does a lot) or a weak reading of the provision (it doesn't do much). Sorry if that was unclear.
3.17.2008 4:46pm
Sheldon (mail):
Ha! Tyson and Ryan actually did it... I'll have to drop by with Krispy Kremes.
3.17.2008 4:49pm
Ex parte McCardle:
Thanks, Orin, it was perfectly clear in context. My comment was just a joke about the portion of the amendment that appears to be an indecipherable inkblot.
3.17.2008 5:03pm
TerrencePhilip:
To experiment with the limits of your own power, you could've said "you boys sure are nice to save seats for me and my friend tomorrow; you're planning on some nice recommendations when you graduate, RIGHT?" just to see the reaction.
3.17.2008 5:15pm
General Disarray:
I take it the lawyers' line has not started forming yet?
3.17.2008 5:23pm
The Cabbage (mail):
gunners.
3.17.2008 5:29pm
Carl in Chicago (mail):
Ex parte McCardle wrote:
Thanks, Orin, it was perfectly clear in context. My comment was just a joke about the portion of the amendment that appears to be an indecipherable inkblot.

Mr. McCardle:
Just which portion of the amendment appears, in your perspective, to be an indecipherable inkblot? As a matter of disclosure, I fall deeply into the "strong 2A supporter" camp sensu Kerr.

As you stated above, "a well-regulated Militia is necessary to the security of a free State?" I certainly agree. Although we could debate about whether or not such a militia truely was necessary, in my opinion, I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment.

"The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed?" Absolutely - and while I agree with that truism in principle, my opinion means nothing in this regard. That statement just ain't open to discussion or to the vagaries of opinion.

Anyway, I too have two good friends from Chicago, also camped out near the Supreme Court steps. They also are strong 2A supporters. Perhaps Mr's. Horrocks and Haws will be so kind as to share their hot pizza? It would, after all, be appropriate, given they're all members of the same militia.
3.17.2008 5:34pm
Chris 24601 (mail):
When I saw "an update on the Heller line," I thought of this site, which is getting a surprising amount of liquidity--70% to 89.9% chance of D.C.-gun-ban-unconstitutionality.
3.17.2008 5:39pm
Christopher Cooke (mail):
Ex Parte McCardle: I thought the inkblot was the Ninth Amendment? It has to be an inkblot because, otherwise, it undermines the whole strict constructionist (right wing) view of US Constitution. See, e.g., Judge Bork's views on the Ninth Amendment.
3.17.2008 5:52pm
Ex parte McCardle:
Well, I arrogate to myself the right to declare ex cathedra that any portion of the Constitution I don't like is an indecipherable inkblot.

And, to repeat, it was just a joke, although I believe I may now declare myself a "strong Third Amendment supporter."
3.17.2008 5:59pm
duglmac (mail):
How good are they about honoring a line? Is there an official sign saying 'Line for Heller starts here'. What If I sit down close by and put up my own sign? Which line will they let in first?
3.17.2008 6:04pm
theobromophile (www):
Ex Parte McCardle: I thought the inkblot was the Ninth Amendment? It has to be an inkblot because, otherwise, it undermines the whole strict constructionist (right wing) view of US Constitution. See, e.g., Judge Bork's views on the Ninth Amendment.

Last time I checked, Kurt Lash of Loyola L.A. and Randy Barnett have a (rather vigourous) debate going about that.
3.17.2008 6:30pm
The Ace:
duglmac,

Is a gun rights case in DC really the best time to test a cutting-in-line experiment?
3.17.2008 6:31pm
cirby (mail):
The Ace:

Better before the decision than after it.
3.17.2008 7:42pm
Laura Horrocks:
This is Laura Horrocks (Tyson's wife). The pizza did end up coming but pretty late. Ryan's wife actually came yesterday morning to bring the boys hot chocolate. They are all pretty excited about everything going on. The first person that started the line got there at about 5pm on Sunday afternoon. Pretty crazy!
3.18.2008 11:38am
gt358:
As someone else waiting in the Heller line... There was someone who was seventh or eighth in line who kept a list of the people there, and it was acceptable to disappear to Union Station or to Starbucks for food/restrooms. Everyone pretty much respected everyone else. It was an interesting lesson in group psychology.
3.19.2008 10:00am