The American Civil Liberties Union is looking to be paid back for the money it spent taking legal action against notorious bigot Kim Davis.
The lawyers who represented four couples against Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis' refusal to issue marriage licenses filed a motion this week looking to "recoup more than $200,000 in legal fees" they spent in the process, according to a statement from the ACLU of Kentucky.
The repayment would help "deter future civil rights violations by government officials," ACLU of Kentucky legal director William Sharp said in the statement. "By filing today's motion, we hope to achieve that very objective — to send a message to government officials that willful violations of individuals' rights will be costly."
Remember Davis? Back in 2015, the ACLU of Kentucky filed a lawsuit challenging Davis' refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples following the United States Supreme Court's landmark ruling on gay marriage. At the time, Davis claimed that issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples violated her religious beliefs — but also said she could not resign her position because doing so would "help nobody."
According to a statement from the ACLU of Kentucky, "the plaintiffs first secured a court order barring Davis from denying them marriage licenses and then later a second ruling barring her from denying any qualified applicants a marriage license." Davis refused to comply, and was briefly jailed for contempt of court.
The fight very well may have continued, were it not for a change made to Kentucky marriage license forms that did away with the requirement that the names of county clerks be included on licenses. The case was dismissed, but now, the ACLU is aiming to have the government pay pack the $233,058.08 spent on attorney fees and other incurred costs from the case.
"It is unfortunate that an elected official sought to use her office to withhold government services on the basis of her religious beliefs," ACLU of Kentucky executive director Michael Aldridge said in the statement. "And it is equally regrettable that the county may now have to pay for her misuse of that office and her refusal to comply with the court's orders."