Attend Health Care Ruling
June 26, 2012 12:39 PM   Subscribe

Is there any chance at all I'll be able to see the SCOTUS health care ruling this Thursday?

I'm in D.C., getting there is no problem. I've googled around and looked at past AskMes but they're all about attending oral arguments, not rulings. Are the handing-down-opinion sessions open to the public? Will there be seats available at this one? If so, how early do I need to line up?
posted by ethansh to Law & Government (8 answers total)
"In mid-May, after the oral argument portion of the Term has concluded, the Court takes the Bench Mondays at 10 a.m. for the release of orders and opinions. This practice continues until all the cases heard during the Term are decided, usually the last week in June. These sessions, which typically last between 15 and 30 minutes, are also open to the public. Copies of the Court’s opinions are available from the Public Information Office on the ground floor approximately 30 minutes after they are announced from the Bench."-- Supreme Court Visitors' Guide

From the Supreme Court FAQ: "Visitors should be aware that cases may attract large crowds, with lines forming well before the building opens. Seating in the Courtroom is limited and cases may draw crowds of varying sizes; therefore it can be difficult to predict an arrival time that will guarantee seating. Seating for a session begins at 9:30 a.m. Visitors may begin lining up on the Front Plaza as early as they feel comfortable."

The decision is expected to be handed down around 10 a.m. Thursday.
posted by brina at 12:53 PM on June 26, 2012

For the healthcare oral arguments I remember seeing a news clip where they were interviewing people who'd lined up more than a day before - so how much time do you have to line up, starting maybe tonight?
posted by ldthomps at 12:59 PM on June 26, 2012

Also, I had to line up by 5 a.m. to see Late Night with Conan O'Brien back in the day. This is probably the biggest Supreme Court decision of our era, and millions of people are following the case. You might consider camping out overnight, if it's permitted. (But then, afterwards, you have to promise to come tell us all about the experience!)
posted by brina at 1:00 PM on June 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

thanks for the responses. No ability to camp overnight, so I'll probably just hang around outside the building and at least be able to say I was nearby! It'll still be cool to be in that crowd when the ruling comes down.
posted by ethansh at 1:04 PM on June 26, 2012

If you're willing to spend a little cash, there are companies that will stand in line for you.
posted by downing street memo at 1:14 PM on June 26, 2012 [2 favorites]

Also, this is the kind of case where lawyers and agency staff can call and prebook some of those already limited seats. I think you are SOL
posted by atomicstone at 2:57 PM on June 26, 2012

atomicstone is right that you're probably SOL getting one of those limited seats, so maybe just go straight to the Public Information Office brina mentioned --- I'm not sure how many copies they'll have available at the stroke of 10:30am to hand out, but you'll want to be right up there at the head of the line. (Of course, they'll probably make a big stack for starters, and then just keep the office printers & copiers churning them out 'till the cows come home.)
posted by easily confused at 3:31 PM on June 26, 2012

There was an article about people being paid to stand in lines like these days in advance, and at the last minute, the person with the money would come in and take their place.

If you aren't willing to be there 2 days in advance than you shouldn't get your hopes up about getting inside.
posted by markblasco at 3:43 PM on June 26, 2012

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