Many In Line To See Hearing

CAPITOL HILL (AP) - Some people waited all night for a chance to attend the start of hearings for chief justice nominee John Roberts.

For their trouble, they got a ticket good for 30 minutes inside the crowded hearing room. It's a half-hour glimpse of history that for many is apparently well worth the wait. The public will be rotated through the Russell Senate Caucus Room over the course of the next several days.

The gilded chamber has been the setting for hearings on everything from the sinking of the Titanic to Watergate.

Across the street, supporters of the nominee have been staging a small rally, wearing green T-shirts and buttons boasting that "Roberts Rules." Nearby, opponents hoisted their own signs.

Clearly, the stakes are higher than two years ago, when Roberts appeared before the same committee for his nomination to a federal appeals court seat.