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Court Rules Against ACLU's Request for Kim Davis to Pay Legal Fees

kim davis

The ACLU will have to cover the $233,058 bill for now.

The American Civil Liberties Union was denied the right to recover costs the civil rights organization incurred in a lawsuit against Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who shut down marriage license operations after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality in 2015, reports The Huffington Post.

The ACLU had filed a motion requesting that Davis or Rowan County, where she was a county clerk, pay $233,058.08 in attorneys' fees and other costs the organization bore when it represented four couples who sued Davis. Monday a U.S. magistrate judge denied the ACLU's motion, but the gtoup is planning to file an objection, according to HuffPo.

When the ACLU first filed its motion to recover costs in September, it released a statement that said, "It is unfortunate that an elected official sought to use her office to withhold government services on the basis of her religious beliefs." Davis said issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples conflicted with her Christian beliefs, so she shut down all marriage license operations in her office. U.S. District Judge David Bunning ordered her to resume issuing licenses, but she continued to resist. She eventually spent five days in jail; she was released when her deputies began serving same-sex couples as well as opposite-sex ones, therefore bringing Rowan County into compliance with the law.

The ACLU argued in its motion that it had the right to reimbursement because "having to go through the expense of that litigation to secure a basic right that should not have been denied eligible couples in the first place -- the ability to secure a marriage license and marry the person of their choosing."

Davis's attorneys with the anti-LGBT legal group Liberty Counsel, which has been labeled a hate group by the progressive Southern Poverty Law Center, called the denial "another victory" for her.

"The ACLU and others still want to punish Kim Davis for daring to take a stand for religious liberty, but today the court recognized that the ACLU does not deserve to get paid for its bullying," said Horatio Mihet, Liberty Counsel's vice president of legal affairs, in a written statement. "Kim Davis never violated her conscience, and she still has her job and her freedom -- that is a win for Kim and for all Americans who want to perform public service without being forced to compromise their religious liberties."

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