Republican lawmakers voted behind closed doors Thursday to give a blank check to hire two law firms — one of which routinely bills more than $800 an hour — in a legal battle over redrawing legislative maps. The move will add to a bill that has already topped $2 million. One of the firms the lawmakers hired is a high-powered legal operation where former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement is a partner. Clement, who has Wisconsin roots, charges more than $1,300 an hour, according to published reports. Legislative aides would not say if Clement will be on the legal team they are assembling.
Republican legislators on two committees approved the plan even though they didn’t know how much hiring the firms will cost or even their hourly rates. Those details will be ironed out later, said Myranda Tanck, a spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau).
The plan was approved 5-3 by an Assembly committee and 3-2 by a Senate committee. All Republicans voted for it and all Democrats voted against it.
Full Article: GOP lawmakers to write blank check to hire lawyers.