Back in August then-Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear was hit with a $2.3 million legal fees bill from the winning side in his state’s battle against same-sex marriage. Beshear balked at paying the “unreasonable” amount and offered to settle for $581K – about 25% of the bill. Now the full bill is in the lap of newly-elected teabagger Gov. Matt Bevin, who recently issued an executive order which removes the names of county clerks from marriage licenses.
From the Louisville Courier-Journal:
A staunch opponent of gay marriage, Matt Bevin once warned it could lead to the legalization of marriage between parents and children. But now, as governor, he faces what must be an unpleasant task for him: Settling up with the lawyers who won the historic Supreme Court ruling last June setting aside bans against gay marriage in Kentucky and across the land.
And under federal law, the governor has no choice but to pay them. To ensure “effective access to the judicial process” for “persons with civil rights grievances,” the losing side must pay the winner’s legal fees in an amount the courts decide is reasonable.
Bevin could wait for Senior U.S. District Judge Charles R. Simpson III to decide what constitutes a reasonable fee. But the plaintiffs’ lawyers could appeal that amount, and usually the parties settle.
In Ohio and Michigan, for example, whose gay marriage bans were struck down with Kentucky’s, the Republican governors in those two states settled with the winning lawyers, for $1.3 million and $1.9 million, respectively.
Is anybody keeping a grand total for all these payments?