By Elise Viebeck - 06/28/12 06:11 PM EDT
Opponents of the law gathered near the center of the steps and chanted "Strike it down!" as the clock ticked toward 10 a.m.
They had brought along a life-size mannequin of Jesus, in a tan robe. Many waved the "Don't tread on me" flags associated with the Tea Party movement or held "Defund Planned Parenthood" banners.
Speeches by the group's leaders blared on a makeshift PA system. At least one man was in colonial dress.
Among the progressives outside the court was a group promoting a single-payer system.
They had two belly-dancers in tow that drew stares as they whirled through the crowd. Trailing the women were several seniors holding signs that read "Medicare for all."
Other signs read "We love Obamacare" and "Keep your hands off my healthcare."
As the line to enter the court began to move, several young girls who had been waiting screamed with excitement and ran up the steps. Some wore shirts reading "Family Planning: Everybody's Doing It."
Reporters inside the court received the ruling at about 10:11, a short time after the crowd broke into a rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner."
A few minutes later, a cheer swept the conservative crush. "The mandate is gone! The Constitution won!" people shouted.
It was soon replaced with calls of "This is not over!" as opponents of the law discovered that the mandate, in fact, would stand.
For more on the crowd outside the Supreme Court, click here.