12:47 PM 03/08/2013
I'm planning on waiting in line (or paying a squatter to wait in line) starting on the morning of the 25th for the trial on the 27th...is that early enough so that I'll get in?
What's the capacity for the viewing public for Supreme Court trials?
I haven't been myself, but I was considering going for a specific case earlier in the year, and I found these 2 useful blogs by a law student who tried to be the first person in line for a nuber of cases:
3:58 PM 03/11/2013 | -1 Votes
I've done this a few times, and one of them was for a high profile case (not as high profile as this one though!). I think I showed up at about 4 am. I wouldn't be surprised if this isn't an all-night campout though. I've been thinking of doing it myself but my 52 year old body wouldn't respond well to a chilly overnight.
The court can hold a good number of people - a couple hundred I would think. They really squeeze you in there, and don't be surprised if you end up sitting behind one of the huge columns that line the sides of the courtroom. That happened to me once - you can hear perfectly but no sightline to the proceeding. Of course, there isn't a lot to "see", unless you want to see Clarence Thomas laying way back in his recliner and staring at the ceiling. But maybe he'll actually speak in this hearing.... The challenge with seating is that members of the Supreme Court Bar are allowed in first, so in the high profile cases, the general public ends up in the worst seats if you get in at all.
Good luck, it should be fascinating!
5:43 PM 03/11/2013 | 0 Votes
I went for Hamdan v. Rumsfeld and we camped out starting at 7pm the night before. As soon as people started lining up, the line got long very fast. It was chilly but entirely worth it. Spaces filled up incredibly quickly (I'd estimate that if you got there by 3 or 4am you may not have gotten in). It was pretty awful napping on the hard stairs in the cold, but a reallly good atmosphere. People were pretty strict about self-policing the "you can only get out of line for the bathroom" rule. Quite a few professional line sitters too. There was a group behind me that started queueing about the same time of an awesomely cool teacher and her 6 AP Civics kids who had read all the briefs and were visiting from Ohio. I think for something this high profile, you may just want to aim to get there on the 25th, but monitor it the days before in case people get started early, in which case you may need to do so as well. Good luck!
4:53 PM 03/12/2013 | 0 Votes
I've heard people have been there since Friday for this one.
9:54 AM 03/25/2013 | 0 Votes