JEFFREY BROWN: Beyond the political response, there were many other voices reacting to the court’s ruling today. We’re going to hear some of that now, beginning with the highly charged scene just outside the Supreme Court.
Betty Ann Bowser is back with that.
PROTESTERS: Hey, hey, ho, ho, Obamacare has got to go.
BETTY ANN BOWSER: The chaotic scene outside the Supreme Court stood in stark contrast to the solemnity inside.
PROTESTERS: We love Obamacare! We love Obamacare!
BETTY ANN BOWSER: A kind of impromptu street theater played out on the court steps. There were belly dancers, prayer circles, people dressed in colonial attire…
MAN: The Constitution doesn’t allow for mandates.
BETTY ANN BOWSER: … and others sporting surgical masks, and, of course, there were plenty of cameras.
Throughout the morning, there was a circus-like atmosphere, with supporters and opponents of the law competing for the attention of the crowd. And there were hundreds of people here. At one point, they stretched all the way to the sidewalk and halfway around the corner.
And then the moment everybody had waited for. Reporters ran out of the courtroom with news of the decision. Supporters of the Affordable Care Act were thrilled it had been upheld.
MAN: We’re the only industrialized nation that doesn’t provide health care for everybody in our country. And I think that’s something that needs to change. And I think we’re moving toward that.
LAURA BRENNAMAN, Supports Supreme Court Decision: I see people with severe chronic health care problems, debilitating problems that could have been prevented had they had access to primary and preventative services. And I am so thrilled that this law was upheld, so now those people will get that care that they need.
BETTY ANN BOWSER: But for many who opposed the law, the decision came as a shock.
KELLI CARENDER, Opposes Supreme Court Decision: I think it was a momentous blunder and that historians are going to look back and regard it as such and place it alongside other giant mistakes the court has made in the past. President Obama, before the decision came out, kept saying they shouldn’t be rewriting legislation. That’s exactly what they just did.
BETTY ANN BOWSER: Other opponents promised to pour their all into the campaign to repeal the law in Congress.
BEN GRACE, Opposes Supreme Court Decision: I will be going door to door. I will also be making phone calls. I will be donating. And I will also be manning the polls also.
BETTY ANN BOWSER: And so will many of those who turned out today, as the focus shifts from the court to the ballot box and the November elections.