Day One Arguments Will be Boring, Lawyer Warns

So far, the lawyers in the health care cases have maintained their sense of humor. Paul Clement and Don Verrilli each worked a laugh line or two at a March 9 Georgetown Law School program for corporate lawyers. The two men will be adversaries when the court hears arguments March 26-28.

Clement, who represents 26 of the 28 states challenging the law, said he felt sorry for any people who camp out overnight in the hopes of snagging a seat for the first day of arguments. The court that day will consider only whether a previously obscure law known as the Anti-Injunction Act makes review of the health care law premature.

“I think of that as a kind of practical joke that the court is playing on the public,” Clement said. “Some people are going to stand out all [Sunday] night trying to get a seat for the health care argument, and they’re going to hear all this discussion about this Anti-Injunction Act — about the most boring jurisdictional stuff one can imagine.”

Verrilli, who as U.S. Solicitor General will defend the law, drew his own laughs when he mentioned the case’s paperwork includes “about 7,500″ friend-of-the-court filings.

“They were wheeled into my office just yesterday and they were about two carts worth,” Verrilli said. “It was quite something.”

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