The bad news for residents of Alaska is the state Republican party has hired Paul Clement to litigate their case against Medicaid expansion under Obamacare.
The good news for residents of Alaska is the state Republican party has hired Paul Clement to litigate their case against Medicaid expansion under Obamacare.
If his recent track record is any indication, Paul Clement will probably lose but he'll be paid a significant amount of money to do so.
[The] Alaska Legislative Council, a Republican-controlled legislative committee that can bring suits in state court, agreed to spend up to $450,000 in public money on a legal team including Republican superlawyer Paul Clement. Clement, who has urged courts to adopt conservative positions on issues as diverse as immigration, health care, voter suppresion, health care and gay rights, is the de facto Solicitor General of the Republican Party — an experienced Supreme Court advocate frequently hired by Republican lawmakers and interest groups to argue landmark cases.
You're probably familiar with Paul Clement if you've been reading here for a great deal of time. Clement has been hired by Republicans at the local and national level to both defend and attack a wide range of terrible positions and laws, such as the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), with, at times, utterly nonsensical arguments.
Clement also defended Arizona's "Papers Please" anti-immigration law and represented the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) in the initial Supreme Court case against Obamacare, NFIB v Sebelius.
Clement is also representing businesses in the Seattle area in their fight against a $15 minimum wage.
Republicans in Alaska will funnel taxpayer money to Clement in an effort to deprive taxpayers of healthcare they're already paying for (Medicaid) but which the state has not taken advantage of. Clement will probably lose, but at least he'll get paid by the same people (taxpayers) his success would harm.
Medicaid expansion in Alaska could cover up to 42,000 people who, whether they like it or not, will fund the legal assault against it.
As Ian Millhiser at ThinkProgress reminds us, Paul Clement was initially given $500,000 to defend DOMA in court after the Obama administration chose not to, but the final cost of the GOP's legal defense of the gay marriage ban was $2.3 million.
House Republicans increased the amount of money available for the legal defense of DOMA from $500,000 to $2.3 million at a time when the Beltway was still mired in deficit hysteria with an unquenchable fetish for spending cuts.
Clement has lost of growing number of high-profile cases, but Republican lawmakers and businessmen continue to hire him.