In all, some 136 amicus briefs have been filed with the high court in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act litigation. That’s a stack about 2 feet (61cm) high, according a Reuters estimate, or two full carts, as Solicitor General Donald Verrilli put it in a recent speech at Georgetown Law. It’s also a third more amicus briefs than were submitted in the previous Supreme Court amicus record-holder – two affirmative action lawsuits against the University of Michigan, decided in 2003.
Appellate lawyers who specialize in drafting such arguments estimate that the average brief can cost between $25,000 to $50,000. That puts the size of the amicus industry for this case alone in the $3.4 million to $7.8 million range.
That’s a lot of money (though I’d wager most of them were written pro bono by attorneys who just want to claim they submitted something).