Four couples who have who have sued disgraced Rowan County clerk “Kim Davis famously refused to issues marriage licenses to same-sex couples in 2015, after the US Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage was legal in all 50 states” with the help of the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) have succeeded garnering a resolution that saw the state eliminate the need for clerks like Davis to authorise licenses. The ruling, however, has led to a dispute over who would have to pay the ACLU’s $230,000 in legal costs– and it has been decided that it will be Kentucky taxpayers since Davis was acting as an “official of the State” footing citizens she refused to serve with the hefty bill.
As reported by Pink News:
In a ruling this week, U.S. District Judge David Bunning wrote that Davis was not personally liable for paying the cost as she was acting in her “official capacity”.
Though Davis was the clerk for Rowan County, the judge ruled that the state of Kentucky should be liable for the cost over the County, as the authority to issue marriage licenses was derived from the state.
The ruling leaves Kentucky taxpayers on the hook for the full $222,695 in costs.
Anti-LGBT evangelical law firm Liberty Counsel provided free legal representation to Davis.
So while Davis is protected from any financial or professional ruin, she has walked away with her “good” reputation intact and has left the citizens she swore to serve (and clearly didn’t) to pay for her insubordination. Whats worse is that this move will only bolster the power of the Liberty Counsel by legitimizing their work citing this case as a huge success, giving the green light to throw their support for other matters on dangerous anti-LGBT agenda.
The group has more recently been secretly helping Republican lawmakers draft anti-LGBT legislation in a number of states, leading to a wave of anti-LGBT ‘conscience’ bills and ‘bathroom laws’ that exploit transgender issues as an excuse to strip back anti-discrimination protections.
William Sharp of the ACLU of Kentucky told Courier-Journal: “We hope this serves as a reminder to Kentucky officials that willful violations of individuals’ civil liberties, such as what occurred here, will not only be challenged but will also prove costly.”
“[It is] unfortunate that Kentucky taxpayers will likely bear the financial burden of the unlawful actions and litigation strategies of an elected official, but those same voters are free to take that information into account at the ballot box.”
What are your feelings about the fact that the Kentucky citizens have to pay the price of Davis’ insubordination all because she was (albeit in defiance) still in acting in an official capacity? Should cases like hers not be allowed to be represented pro bono by firms such as the Liberty Counsel? What precedence do you think this ruling set for cases like Davis’ down the line? Share your thoughts in the comments below to have your voice heard.
(Article By Tasha Sharifa)