Demonstrators Provide Punctuation, Personality To Ongoing Debate
Though events inside the Supreme Court were staid and steeped in the high court's rules and processes, outside activists converged to argue their positions and to shape public opinion about the health law.
The Wall Street Journal: Outside The Court, Activists Argue Their Cases
Doctors in white coats and union activists who support the law marched in a circle chanting "I love ObamaCare," adopting a term coined by the measure's foes. Opponents, many sporting tea-party T-shirts, hoisted "Don't Tread on Me" flags. A shouting contest—"Health care is a right" versus "Where in the Constitution?"—dominated the sidewalk. The spectacle was the latest revival of a debate that started at heated town-hall meetings and rallies in 2009. Each side has spent months preparing for this week, obtaining everything from bongo drums to a rented building for radio broadcasts to further their cause (Radnofsky and Grossman, 3/27).
The Washington Post: Outside Supreme Court, protesters have already rendered health-care verdicts
Inside, nine justices sat in a quiet, camera-less courtroom to hear reasoned testimony and weigh their opinions about health-care reform. Outside, hundreds of protesters paraded on the steps of the court, postured for cameras and shouted at one another through bullhorns. Reason gave way to political theater. Opinion was already in abundance (Saslow, 3/26).
Reuters: Dueling Chants As Demonstrators Vent Over U.S. Healthcare Law
Supporters of President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law chanted "We love Obamacare" while opponents replied "We love the Constitution" in lively demonstrations outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday as the justices weighed the fate of the statute. Gusty winds whipped American flags, signs and banners as hundreds of supporters of the law outnumbered opponents at the white marble columned court building on the first of three days of arguments over the law signed by Obama in 2010 (Simpson, 3/27).
National Journal: Supreme Court Winds Up 'Boring Day' Of Health Care Case
Outside the building, it was chaos, with nonstop demonstrations, news conferences, interviews, and generalized grandstanding – even a brass band. … Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who is leading one of the challenges to the health care law, descended from the steps of the high court around 3 p.m., sending up shouts among the tea party group. He says he is looking forward to hearing arguments on Tuesday (Khan and Mimms, 3/26).
The Associated Press: Chants, Marching, Debate, Even Jazz, Outside Court
Demonstrators with dueling chants, singers, doctors in white coats, even a presidential candidate and a brass quartet joined hundreds of people sounding off Monday on the broad sidewalk in front of the Supreme Court as the justices considered President Barack Obama's health care law. As the justices listened to legal arguments, demonstrators said it was important their messages be heard too (Gresko, 3/26).
The Hill: Tea Party Converges On Court For Main Event In Health Care Debate
Hundreds of protesters, including both supporters and opponents of the healthcare law, rallied near the Supreme Court’s steps Monday, but the scene outside the court could get even more chaotic. The group Tea Party Patriots is holding a rally in front of the court just as Tuesday’s hearings get under way, with a long list of prominent conservatives scheduled to attend that includes Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) and Steve King (R-Iowa). Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) is also scheduled to appear outside the courthouse Tuesday (Baker, 3/27).
NPR: Outside Court, Protesters Face Off Over 'Obamacare'
Supporters and opponents of the law engaged in a sing-song call-and-response debate just in front of the court's towering marble steps."We love Obamacare!" shouted supporters. "No, we don't!" responded members of the Tea Party Patriots, one of the most vocal and disapproving groups of the law present at the court Monday. Sometimes the exchanges became personal (Tomassoni, 3/26).
CQ HealthBeat: Outside The Court, Groups Battle To Shape Perceptions Of Health Care Law
On Monday morning, at least, opponents of the law were having a hard time getting a word in edgewise. But with the sun brightly shining and a bracing wind blowing, everyone seemed energized by the scene and their particular, outside-the-court take on how to conduct discourse. The spectators were light on citing precedent and extended argument but heavy on waving flags and homemade placards, putting campaign buttons on cute little dogs and pounding on bongo drums (Reichard, 3/26).
Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Debate Over Law Sparks Mostly Civil Exchanges Outside High Court
Scores of opponents and supporters of the health care law rallied next to each other for over three hours Monday, before, during and after the Supreme Court hearing. It was mostly civil. Supporters of the law seemed to have the upper hand outside the court — largely because the United Methodist Church next door was being used as a staging ground for left-leaning Families USA and the advocacy group Health Care for America. The location had bathrooms and a place for media to do interviews and file stories. Opponents had neither" (Galewitz, 3/26).
Kaiser Health News: Slideshow: Citizens Gather As Supreme Court Begins Review Of Health Law
Inside the Supreme Court building this week, the nation's highest court is hearing oral arguments in a case that seeks to overturn the 2010 health law. Outside the building, Americans gathered to express their support or opposition to the law -- or just to see history being made (Marcy, 3/26).
In related news -
The New York Times: Vindication For Challenger Of Health Care Law
When Congress passed legislation requiring nearly all Americans to obtain health insurance, Randy E. Barnett, a passionate libertarian who teaches law at Georgetown, argued that the bill was unconstitutional. Many of his colleagues, on both the left and the right, dismissed the idea as ridiculous — and still do (Stolberg and Savage, 3/26).