Two formidable lawyers to spar at Supreme Court over health care reform law

Two attorneys will handle the lion's share of the arguments before the Supreme Court in the Obama health care reform case. In one corner, US Solicitor General Donald Verrilli. In the other, the indomitable Paul Clement. 

AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari
Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr., right, and former Solicitor General Paul D. Clement speak during a forum at the Georgetown University Law Center,Friday, March 9, 2012 in Washington, DC.

Six lawyers are set to deliver arguments at the Supreme Court on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Two will handle the lion's share:

Donald Verrilli

As US solicitor general, Donald Verrilli is representing the Obama administration and will argue that the court should affirm the constitutionality of the ACA.

He served as deputy counsel to President Obama prior to being nominated to fill the solicitor general's post left vacant when Elena Kagan was confirmed as a Supreme Court justice.

Prior to his work in the Obama administration, Mr. Verrilli was a partner at the law firm Jenner & Block, and was co-chairman of the firm's Supreme Court practice. He has argued 16 cases at the high court.

A Connecticut native, Verrilli attended Columbia Law School, where he served as editor in chief of the Columbia Law Review. He clerked for Judge J. Skelly Wright of the US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and for Justice William Brennan at the US Supreme Court.

Paul Clement

Washington lawyer Paul Clement is no stranger to the podium at the nation's highest court. To date he has argued 55 cases before the justices.

He is representing Florida and 25 other states in their challenge to the constitutionality of the ACA's individual mandate.

Before entering private practice, Mr. Clement served for more than seven years in the US Solicitor General's Office, the last three as solicitor general during the administration of George W. Bush. He is a partner at the Bancroft law firm in Washington.

A native of Wisconsin, Clement attended Harvard Law School and was Supreme Court editor of the Harvard Law Review. He clerked for Judge Laurence Silberman of the US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and for Justice Antonin Scalia at the US Supreme Court.

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