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Notebook: Supreme Court's gay marriage arguments are a tough ticket

WASHINGTON, D.c.

cold wait, or pay, guarantees a seat

The most expensive ticket to The Book of Mormon on Broadway: $477. The face value of a great seat for this year's Super Bowl: $1,250. Guaranteed seats to watch the U.S. Supreme Court hear this week's gay marriage cases: about $6,000. Tickets to the two arguments that begin today are technically free. But getting them requires lining up days or hours ahead, or paying someone else to. The first people got in line Thursday, bringing the price of saving a seat to around $6,000. For some, putting a value on the seats is meaningless. "It's just not possible," said Fred Sainz a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay rights organization, which began employing two people to stand in line Thursday. By Monday morning there were more than three dozen people waiting, even as snow was falling. Several in the line said they were being paid, while others included college students and a substitute teacher.

Lesbian cousin is chief justice's guest

Jean Podrasky, 48, a lesbian who wants to marry her partner, will be at today's U.S. Supreme Court hearing on Proposition 8 in seating reserved for family members and guests of Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. Podrasky lives in San Francisco and usually sees Roberts only on family occasions. She obtained the highly coveted courtroom seats by emailing Roberts' sister, Peggy Roberts, and then going through his secretary. Roberts knows she will be there, she said. She, her partner, her sister and her niece will attend the arguments on Proposition 8. On Wednesday, her father will take her niece's place for the hearing on the challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.

Sen. McCaskill backs gay marriage

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill says she now believes that gay couples should be allowed to marry, a change from her previously nuanced stance during last year's re-election campaign in which she defended the right of Missouri voters to outlaw same-sex weddings. The Democratic senator's support for gay marriage is a matter of both personal belief and public policy, her spokesman said Monday. McCaskill declared her position on her blog Sunday evening in advance of U.S. Supreme Court arguments on the topic later this week.

Other court news

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION: The Supreme Court is broadening its examination of affirmative action by adding a case about Michigan's effort to ban consideration of race in college admissions. The justices already were considering a challenge to the University of Texas program that takes account of race, among many factors, to fill remaining spots in its freshman classes. A decision in the Texas case is expected by late June.

Associated Press, New York Times

Notebook: Supreme Court's gay marriage arguments are a tough ticket 03/25/13 [Last modified: Monday, March 25, 2013 11:18pm]
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