“You know where to find Graham Blackman-Harris on the first Monday in October: In line.”

October 3rd, 2011

Meet the least cynical man in Washington. He can’t stay long.

His name is Graham Blackman-Harris, and you’ll find him on the first Monday in Octoberwhere he’s been for the past two decades: waiting in line to enter the Supreme Court. Which he describes alternately as “fun” and “fascinating” and “magnificent.”

He took the day off from his job as a Federal Express manager in Jersey City to be at the court’s opening argument of the term; he plans vacation days around important cases and court milestones. He spent the weekend in Washington so he could be at the court’s marble plaza by 5:30 a.m. to ensure himself a spot as one of the first 50 in line.

“This will be the 20th year, and I’ve only missed two first Mondays,” Blackman-Harris said last month in an interview at a Jersey City diner. “One I was sick, and the other one I was closing on my house.”

To ask why he fell in love with the Supreme Court is to receive a puzzled response about why everyone else has not.

“Every American should see the Supreme Court in action,” he said. “Anyone going to the court will see we have a magnificent array of talent on that court.”

For Blackman-Harris, a self-described “C-SPAN junkie,” the fascination began with a trip to Washington to see the Capitol. Not much was going on, and a guide suggested that he go across the street.

No, this guy is not related to me, last name notwithstanding. When I saw this headline I almost drove off the road, thinking the story was about me!