Statehouse Live: Kansas University law professor to help states fight Affordable Care Act before U.S. Supreme Court

? Kansas University law professor Stephen McAllister, in his role as state solicitor general, is being sent to Washington, D.C. to help attorneys from Kansas and other states challenging the federal health reform law before the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Kansas has been active with our state partners in pursuing this historic litigation all the way to the Supreme Court, and I’m grateful that Steve is willing to lend his expertise to our efforts in this final push before that Court,” Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said Monday.

Schmidt said the Affordable Care Act, which was passed by Democrats and signed into law by President Barack Obama, represented an “unprecedented federal power grab.” Supporters say it provides a number of consumer protections and will increase the availability and affordability of health insurance.

McAllister is a specialist in constitutional and appellate law. He served as a law clerk for two U.S. Supreme Court justices and a federal appellate judge.

For the past five years, McAllister has served as Kansas solicitor general. In that capacity he represents the state in appellate litigation at the direction of the attorney general.

Schmidt, a Republican, said McAllister will help prepare former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement for the oral arguments before the Court on March 26-28. Clement is representing the 26-state coalition that is challenging the health care law. Clement will present the states’ oral arguments to the Court.

Schmidt’s office reported that McAllister is not being paid for this work but the state will be providing him a ticket for air travel and lodging expenses. The total cost will be about $800, the attorney general’s office said.