| WASHINGTON, March 24
WASHINGTON, March 24 Several hundred
rain-soaked Tea Party activists rallied on Saturday to call for
the U.S. Supreme Court to repeal President Barack Obama's
signature healthcare law after arguments next week.
Speaker after speaker at the two-hour protest in the shadow
of the U.S. Capitol tore up copies of the law and condemned it
as a threat to American freedoms and a violation of the
The flag-waving rally by the Tea Party movement, which
fueled a conservative Republican wave in 2010 mid-term
congressional elections, was an early start to demonstrations by
opponents and supporters of the law around the Supreme Court
The Supreme Court has scheduled six hours for the arguments
over three days from Monday to Wednesday.
"If Obamacare stands, I would have, you would have, future
generations would have a future that not even ("1984" author
George) Orwell could have foreseen coming," Representative Louie
Gohmert, a Texas Republican, told the crowd.
Many activists huddled under umbrellas or wore ponchos
against intermittent showers. The rally began with "The
Star-Spangled Banner," the Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer,
and some Tea Partyers wore colonial outfits.
Speakers repeatedly attacked the healthcare law as socialist
and some condemned it as an illegal extension of federal power,
just as, they said, Social Security and income taxes had been.
They cheered references to conservative activist Andrew
Breitbart, who died this month, and waved signs that said "Keep
your politics out of my healthcare" and "Obamacare
Herman Cain, who pulled out of the Republican presidential
race in December, said the issue before the Supreme Court was
not just about repealing the two-year-old law.
"This is about getting our freedom back to just be free to
make our own decisions with our lives," Cain said.
The National Federation of Small Business and 26 states are
challenging the law, whose key feature requires most adults to
buy health insurance. The court is not expected to rule until as
late as June 30.
Roger Hardwicke, 52, an engineer from Frederick, Maryland,
said the healthcare issue was not a partisan one between
Democrats and Republicans.
"It's (between) those that believe in limited government
according to the Constitution and those who want to expand the
government beyond what the constitution allows," he said.
(Reporting By Ian Simpson; Editing by David Bailey and Eric