View Photo Gallery: Supreme Court takes center stage in health-care debate

The ones in white lab coats were for it. The ones with tape over their mouths were against it.

With arguments over the federal health-care law finally underway at the Supreme Court on Monday, the battle played out colorfully on the sidewalk out front, with hundreds chanting, waving signs and even playing trombones.

Doctors and patients shared personal stories about the need to reform what one called the “sick-care system.” Antiabortion activists opposed to the law plastered tape, emblazoned with the word “life” on their mouths.

Supporters of the law, who had a small brass band marching in circles with them, embraced the term “Obamacare.” Usually considered a slur, it worked well in a chant.

“We love Obamacare!” they called out.

Opponents countered with, “We love the Constitution!”

A string of supporters offered testimonials about a lack of health insurance. Marlys Cox, a substitute teacher from St. Petersburg, Fla., stood before the crowd with a microphone to share how through a freak accident — she’d been bitten by a barracuda as a teenager — she’d contracted hepatitis C. She went on from there to describe a divorce that left her without health insurance, $40,000 annual in medication costs, a breast cancer diagnosis, and no way to pay for her care.

“President Obama was throwing me a lifeline,” she said.

Or throwing out the Constitution, according to opponents who kept up their “We love the Constitution!” while Cox spoke.

Read more from The Washington Post:

Live tweets from outside the Supreme Court

Supreme Court hears health-care arguments

Health-care law poll: Share your view on the issue

A wonkblog guide to arguments on health care

Protester’s stance: Antiabortion but pro-Obamacare