No, this isn’t a story about the federal budget. It’s a story about the Republican governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley, hiring a 500 dollar an hour attorney to defend the state’s voter ID law which the Department of Justice has declared unconstitutional.
South Carolina taxpayers will be on the hook for a high-powered Washington attorney’s $520-an-hour rate when the state sues the federal government this week to protect its voter ID law.
That litigation could cost more than $1 million, according to two South Carolina attorneys who have practiced before the U.S. Supreme Court.
S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson has more than five dozen staff attorneys to handle the state’s legal affairs, but Wilson hired a former U.S. solicitor general to litigate the voter ID case at a rate of $520 an hour, a contract obtained last week reveals.
The Department of Justice labeled the South Carolina voter ID law unconstitutional because, according to the state’s own data, it would disproportionately effect minority voters because minority voters are more likely to not have an ID.
As ThinkProgress reminds us, Paul Clement, the lawyer hired by Nikki Haley, is also the man hired by Speaker of the House John Boehner to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which the Department of Justice has also labeled unconstitutional.
Why do the Republicans hate the constitution?