While the nine justices deliberated inside the Supreme Court today in the hours before they hand down one of the biggest decisions in a generation, the scene outside the court was nothing short of a duel.
The morning began with duel among media organizations as each jockied for a prime position to set up their anchors. Next came the battle for golden tickets, a yellow slip of paper handed out to the first 50 people waiting in line to enter the court.
By 8 A.M. protestors had broken into a silent stand off, unveiling signs, banners and even a wooden wagon full of t-shirts to show their support or disapproval of the health care law.
Then came the musical showdown, as two belly dancers sauntered down First St. in front of the court followed by drums, a tambourine and a brass flute.
In response protesters with the Tea Party hooked iPods up to their megaphones, blaring patriotic music in an attempt to drown out the drums and cymbals of the law’s supporters.
Then came the dueling chants.
“Belly dancers for single-payer,” shouted a man holding a sign that read “Strike Down Obama Mandate.”
“Babies die of ACA, see it overturned today,” said a woman through a megaphone standing at the steps of the Supreme Court building.
There is barely an hour left until the court will rule on whether President Obama’s signature legislative achievement is constitutional, but a line of people hoping for a ticket into the court still stretches for nearly two blocks.
“This is going to be one of the biggest decisions of my life so far,” said Peter Klym, a 25-year-old law student who has waited in line since 4:45 A.M.
Klym said he thinks the court will uphold the whole law, at least he hopes they will.
“I’ll personally be in a lot of trouble when I turn 26 and get kicked off of my parents’ health insurance this fall,” Klym told ABC News. “I certainly can’t afford health insurance and I know a lot of my friends are in the same boat.”
Tyler Bozilla, a law student from Pennsylvania who stood in line since 4 A.M. to try and get a ticket into the court, said he believes the entire law will be ruled unconstitutional.
“The government can’t create commerce in order to regulate it, it can only regulate it once it exists,” Bozilla told ABC News.
He said this decision is “extremely big,” and even though the law allows him to stay on his parents’ health insurance until age 26, Bozilla said it would be better for the country if it was struck down.
“It’s more important that we have proper laws than I get a few more years on my parent’s health care,” said.