KENTUCKY: Liberty Counsel Files To Block State From Paying ACLU Attorney Fees Awarded In Kim Davis Case

Via press release:

Liberty Counsel filed a brief today in Rowan County Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis’ appeal of attorney’s fees awarded to the ACLU for suing Davis in 2015 when she stopped issuing marriage licenses while seeking an accommodation for her religious beliefs. Davis previously won her fight for religious freedom when U.S. District Judge David L. Bunning issued an order dismissing the ACLU case, Miller v. Davis, along with two other 2015 marriage license lawsuits against her.

A federal magistrate judge previously denied the ACLU’s request for attorney’s fees, holding that the ACLU’s clients were not “prevailing parties” under the applicable legal standard. However, Judge Bunning overruled the magistrate judge and ordered the Commonwealth to pay the ACLU’s attorney’s fees, even though Kentucky’s highest officials made permanent the accommodation Davis sought, and the ACLU’s relief was temporary.

“The law in the Sixth Circuit is clear that plaintiffs who obtain only preliminary relief that does not end their case are not ‘prevailing parties,’” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “Kim Davis won this battle for religious liberty when Governor Bevin and the Kentucky General Assembly gave her the accommodation she was always due,” said Staver.

Kentucky was ordered to pay the ACLU $222,000 in a ruling issued last October.

The first page of today’s filing is below. See the full brief.