If it weren’t for the all the highlighters and law school textbooks, balanced in laps or pouring out of backpacks, you’d think this was Wal-Mart the morning after Thanksgiving.
It’s a bit headier than all that. About 50 people are expected to get a seat in tomorrow’s arguments in District of Columbia v. Heller. And for some, if that means 36 hours of torpor, so be it.
Tyson Horrocks, 25, a 2L at The George Washington University Law School, was highlighting a passage in a criminal-procedures handout when the BLT interrupted him.
He staked out his spot in line (No. 3) last night at around 11:30, he said.
“I can’t think of a better campsite,” he said, sweeping his hand back in forth between the Capitol and the Supreme Court.
The Salt Lake City native (pictured, far left) has never witnessed arguments in the high court, and he figured he’d go big his first time out. He was thorough in his preparation: pigs in a blanket, muffins, water, a hooded sweatshirt, a few textbooks, a lawn chair.
Horrocks, who favors Heller in the case, says that he’d like to see the court “say the government doesn’t have the ability impede on someone’s rights inside their own home.”
Sarah I., a third-year Harvard Law School student, took position at 10:30 a.m. The first woman (No. 8 overall) to arrive, she was also the self-appointed line monitor. She was brushing up and down the line this afternoon, recording names and corresponding line assignments in a notebook. (Thus freeing campers to use the court’s restrooms or wander off for a bite, without worry.)
“Women tend to organize,” she explained.
Cody Williams (No. 32), a first-year at George Mason University Law School, joined the line at around 1:45 p.m. He said he’s holding his place for someone in Heller's party.
“I’m trying to catch up on all my reading,” he said. He expressed some regret at missing out on the action but predicted that the court would sidestep an end-all interpretation of the Second Amendment.
Besides, he had a lot of catching up do, he said. Finals are but a little more than a month away.
Next to him sat the line’s junior member, 19-year-old Angela A., a sophomore at George Washington University. “I’m kind of a nerd about this stuff,” she said. “I had to come.”
A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Angela said that she’s “kind of a pro-gun girl.”
Then she added, “But no one will take me shooting.”