Politicians in Raleigh Have Spent $9 Million Defending Bad Laws
As HB2 begins to be heard in a federal court and North Carolina's restrictive voter ID law was struck down by a federal judge, state lawmakers continue to defend laws that are costing taxpayers millions of dollars to uphold Governor McCrory's and the GOP leadership's discriminatory agenda.
Law firms have billed Republican legislative leaders $9.3 million for legal services since January 2011, more than half of which comes from defending voter ID legislation struck down last week by a federal appeals court.
The total spent on private lawyers is more than 20 times the amount the legislature spent on outside counsel in the decade prior and largely covers the cost of fending off challenges to redistricting, the amendment banning gay marriage, vouchers for attending private schools and House Bill 2.
The Attorney General's Office contends the legislature's private lawyers are unnecessary and that the cases he chose not to appeal were no longer legally defensible – a decision all lawyers must make.
"Governor McCrory and the General Assembly have no one to blame but themselves for wasting millions in taxpayer dollars by passing clearly unconstitutional laws for political purposes," Samantha Cole, a spokeswoman for Cooper's office, said in a statement. "Even so, our professional attorneys worked hard to defend most of these laws, and private attorneys were an unnecessary expense."