Michaela Jae Rodriguez
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Love Wins Again In South Carolina: Attorney General Must Reimburse Marriage Plaintiffs

Love Wins Again In South Carolina: Attorney General Must Reimburse Marriage Plaintiffs

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson has been ordered to pay more than $135,000 to the plaintiffs who brought a challenge to the state's anti–marriage equality constitutional amendment, the Associated Press reports. The money will be used to pay seven attorneys for the time they spent working on the case.

Colleen Condon and Nichols Bleckley sued last October after the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a similar Virginia law. South Carolina was the only state that refused to issue marriage licenses following the ruling, which was binding on other states in the court's jurisdiction.

Wilson was ordered to reimburse attorneys $130,600 for 390 hours of work, and $4,700 for other court costs. The lawyers' hourly rates fluctuated between $175 and $400 per hour.

While Judge Richard Gergel ruled that the attorneys' fees were reasonable, Attorney General Wilson claimed the costs were excessive, because the plaintiffs knew the Fourth Circuit had already ruled in favor of same-sex marriage and therefore they didn't have to work as hard to win the case.

The judge responded by pointing out that the state gave a 57-page "methodical attack on recent Fourth Circuit precedent" to which the lawyers were obligated to respond in detail.

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