Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Supreme Camp-Out

Luke got home today from a 2 night camping trip to the Supreme Court building!  A friend of his, who was on last year's mock trial team, let him know about this opportunity.  There are only limited seats in the Supreme Court building to listen to the cases being argued.  No recording of any kind is allowed, so if you want to know how the arguments went, then you have to physically be there.  But there are many people who really don't want to stand in line themselves to wait, so they hire people to stand in line for them--for as many days as is needed.  Luke and 10 other people got the call Monday morning for a case that was being argued today (Wednesday).  It is the religious freedom case of the Little Sisters of the Poor and the Obamacare abortion mandate, so this was a very popular one to want tickets to.  Luke's group was holding spaces for big donors of the ADF, the group that is arguing the case for the Little Sisters.  
Luke and Leo rode the metro down together and arrived mid-afternoon.  They set up camp in line with their group on the side of the Supreme Court building, in between it and the Library of Congress.  Luke didn't go on our field trip to the LoC back in November, but he ended up spending a lot of time right beside it anyway!

The first night was really cold, so it was not easy to sleep.  Luke ended up putting his sweats on under his jeans, and he brought a hat and gloves, which helped.  They were able to go to Union Station to get food and use the restroom in shifts.  They could also use the restrooms in the Supreme Court building when it was open, but Luke never did that.  Leo's mom was so kind to bring them breakfast Tuesday morning!

The boys said they got a lot of questions from people who were wondering what they were doing.  Many people thought they were homeless.  In fact, the group ahead of them were homeless people who had been recruited to stay in line for someone else.  One little boy asked his mom something, and she responded with a big discourse on how they were doing a "silent protest", which is what people did when they disagreed with something.  We were laughing because it must have been a *very* silent protest, with no signs or anything to remotely suggest they were protesting anything!  Funny that she wouldn't just ask them, but instead made huge (wrong and unsupported) assumptions.
The second night was better because it wasn't so cold.  Before night, the whole line got moved to the front of the building, so they had a different view.  This morning, the guys came whose places were being held, and our group packed up and left.  Each person was paid $400 in cash.  I hope the homeless people got as good a reward, if not better.  Luke and Leo rode the metro home together, and I picked them up at the station.  After we dropped Leo off and went home ourselves, Luke took a shower and washed his clothes!  I think his own bed will feel very good tonight!

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