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FL to pay $20K for attorney in federal health care lawsuit

The attorney hired to challenge the federal health care overhaul is one of the country's most experienced, expensive Supreme Court lawyers, routinely charging $1,000 per hour, the Washington Post reported Sunday.

Florida and the 25 other states involved in the suit will pay Paul Clement a capped $250,000 fee to appeal to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Florida's share? $20,000.

"This case is paramount in upholding our Constitution and protecting states' and individuals' liberty, and there is no better person to defend the Constitution before the Supreme Court than Paul Clement," said Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. "Paul has argued 57 cases before the Supreme Court, and he has the expertise, intelligence and poise to defend the Constitution."

Colarado, Nebraska, South Carolina, and Texas, each "executive members" in the suit, are also on the hook for $20,000 each, according to the contract from the Florida attorney general's office. Florida is the lead state in the challenge. Download Clement contract

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Wisconsin will each pay $10,000 toward the fee.

And North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming will contribute $5,000.

Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Mississippi, and Washington are named in the suit, but state laws and other obstacles prevent them from contributing to attorney fees, said Jenn Meale, spokesperson at the attorney general's office.

Clement was also solicitor general under President George W. Bush.