A Front Row Seat to History

By Michael Q. Sullivan | July 7, 2008 | 8:19 PM EDT

(CNSNews.com) - Hoping to witness a potentially significant chapter in American history, dozens of people braved below-freezing temperatures Thursday night and Friday morning to wait in line as long as 26 hours outside the Supreme Court in Washington, hoping to get one of the coveted public viewing seats to hear oral arguments in the election dispute between President-elect George W Bush and Vice President Al Gore.

Many of those trying to keep warm while waiting to enter the high court chamber were undergraduate and graduate students from universities in the Washington area, with a goodly number of them supporting Bush in his presidential bid and Supreme Court appeal.

"People are looking for a final authority in this," said Marguerite Zoghby, a law student at Georgetown University from Alabama. "I really want a unanimous decision."

Zoghby's read of the federal law was clear to her and other Bush partisans: "The rules shouldn't be changed during the election."

The sun was shining Thursday when Zoghby first got in line around 3:00 p.m. EST the previous day, along with several of her classmates. She said they slept very little during the night, and passed the hours playing board games. The first person in line for public tickets had apparently been there since well before sunrise Thursday.

Further down the line from Zoghby was Heath Granas, a student at American University and supporter of Gore.

"This is a once in a lifetime event," said Granas. "The Republicans are very hypocritical," the New Jersey native claimed, saying that if the GOP supports state rights, then Bush should not have taken the matter to the federal courts.

Those closer to the front of line, like Zoghby and her friends, said they had been offered cash in exchange for their position in the queue. Zoghby said one such offer was for more than $500.

But the opportunity to scalp her ticket was trumped by the chance to witness history in the making. "This experience is a lot more valuable," said Zoghby.

View the photos here.