Jobless Cash In On Supreme Court Wait
March 27, 2012 by staff
Jobless Cash In On Supreme Court Wait, Temperatures are expected to dip below freezing overnight Monday, and Charles Medley will spend the whole time outdoors near the base of the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court. Why? He’s hoping to hold a coveted place near the front of a line for access to the oral arguments over the federal health care law.
But when the second day of arguments begins Tuesday morning, Medley won’t actually be going inside. He’s one of about 25 people camping out Monday–some paid just $5 an hour–in order to hold a place for somebody else interested in watching the health care hearings.
Tickets for Supreme Court cases are granted on a first-come-first-serve basis, and because of the enormous popularity of this case, anyone without a special pass or media credential is required to wait for several hours or pay someone to do it for them.
Prices for D.C. line-standers vary widely. Some say they make as much as $15 an hour, while others bring in a third of that. Most don’t want to reveal who they’re working for, or simply say they don’t know to avoid divulging any details. The majority of the people getting paid to hold a spot are unemployed; some are homeless. However, there are actual businesses in the D.C. area that specialize in this, charging as much as $50 per hour to save your place.
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