Federal Judge Rules Kentucky, Not Kim Davis, On The Hook For Legal Fees
A federal judge has ruled that the couples who sued Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis to obtain marriages licenses are entitled to nearly $225,000 in legal fees – and Kentucky should pay up.
In a decision handed down Friday, U.S. District Judge David Bunning wrote that Davis and Rowan County should not be responsible for the fees, arguing instead that the state of Kentucky awarded Davis the authority to issue marriage licenses and could have taken action against her for refusing to issue them to same-sex couples.
But Mat Staver, an attorney who represented Davis, says that decision will be challenged.
"The part of the ruling that finds the plaintiffs were prevailing parties is contrary to the law because the legislature mooted the case by passing a law that provides for the precise religious liberty accommodation Kim Davis sought. While Kim Davis and Rowan County are not liable for fees and costs, neither is the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and this aspect of the ruling will be appealed,” Staver said in a statement.
Davis declined to issue marriage licenses in the wake of the 2015 Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage. Kentucky went on to remove county clerks’ names from the licenses.