Dem: Will GOP use unpaid law students on Obama suit?

The top Democrat on the House Administration Committee wants to know if unpaid law students will be working on the House GOP lawsuit against President Obama.

In a letter to House Administration Committee Chairwoman Candice Miller (R-Mich.), Rep. Robert Brady (D-Pa.) expressed concern that potentially unqualified law students at George Washington University, where lawyer Jonathan Turley is employed, would be “exploited” for their assistance with the case. Brady suggested the contract should ensure that a professor of legal ethics oversees the students’ work.

{mosads}”The contract permits George Washington University law students to help Turley with the approval of the House General Counsel if he doesn’t bill the House for the students’ time,” Brady wrote. “This provision appears to contemplate the use of law students who will not be paid and could be exploited, and who have not passed the bar or any required ethics exams to practice law.”

Turley is the third lawyer to be contracted by the House GOP after the two previous law firms, Baker Hostetler and Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, backed out of the case.

Like the previous two contracts, Turley will be compensated $500 an hour subject to a cap of $350,000 for his services through Jan. 3, 2015. 

Brady noted that a maximum payment of $350,000, when he will only have been employed for six weeks before the contract’s expiration date, would be equivalent to an annual salary of $3 million.

“What steps has the House Administration Committee undertaken to ensure that the entire cap is not expended in this extremely short time frame?” Brady asked.

The Pennsylvania Democrat also questioned if Republicans would include President Obama’s executive action to delay deportations of up to five million undocumented immigrants in the lawsuit. Currently at the heart of the GOP’s lawsuit is the president’s decision to delay the healthcare law’s mandate requiring employers with 50 or more full-time workers to provide insurance coverage.

“[A]re House Republicans negotiating with or plan to negotiate with Mr. Turley to represent them in their planned immigration lawsuit?” Brady asked. “For the planned immigration lawsuit, are House Republicans planning to offer $500 an hour to attorneys to represent them — or will they offer even more?” 

Tags GOP lawsuit Jonathan Turley ObamaCare Robert Brady

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