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10 minutes at Supreme Court cost Wisconsin $60K

Wisconsin state Capitol (WLUK file photo/Scott Hurley)

MADISON (AP) -- Wisconsin taxpayers footed a previously unknown $60,000 bill for an attorney to argue for 10 minutes before the U.S. Supreme Court in the state's defense of a redistricting lawsuit.

A summary of bills that The Associated Press obtained through an open records request shows the law firm of Kirkland and Ellis was paid $60,000 to make the arguments. The cost wasn't included in original contracts signed by Republican legislative leaders in 2017.

A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says when the contract was signed it wasn't known whether Kirkland would appear in court or simply prepare legal briefs.

The Legislature asked for time to present its position during oral arguments, which resulted in the $60,000 bill on top of $175,000 paid to the law firm for other work.

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This story has been corrected to reflect the original contracts were signed in 2017.

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