Over his 54 years, Denniston has reported on a quarter of all the justices ever to be appointed to the Supreme Court, and he's outlasted the careers of 10 justices, who were selected and then retired in his time covering the court. He got his start as a local court reporter in Nebraska when he was only 17 years old.
When asked if he's seen another decision that has attracted as much attention as Obama's health care case, Denniston cites Bush vs. Gore and Roe v. Wade. He also jokingly mentions Marbury v. Madison, which established the Supreme Court's right to overturn laws in 1803. "I wasn't around then but some people maybe think I was," Denniston says.
Though Denniston doesn't like using Twitter or Facebook much, he does like being able to look up cases quickly online and he also uses Skype in the press room to tell SCOTUSblog staffers the results of Supreme Court rulings, which they add to the liveblog.
"I'll tell you frankly I don't even understand Facebook. If I had one of my grandchildren sitting next to me in the court pressroom I could maybe navigate Facebook. It's like being 100 miles offshore in fog in a canoe."
Despite his decades of experience, Denniston doesn't have a guess as to which way the court will rule on Obama's health care plan. "I have really no idea. There are times when I think there's a real chance that they'll uphold the mandate, there are other times when I go back and read the transcript and say, well that looks less likely than maybe I thought so," he says. "It genuinely could go either way. I've got to be prepared either way it does."