Kim Brown, lawyers fees and the ACLU

We all know the story…Kim Brown, County Clerk in Kentucky, which is an elected position, determined that she would not issue marriage licenses for gay people. The state ordered her to issue licenses, she refused, so other people in her office issued the licenses after the ACLU sued to force the marriage licenses to be issued.
The ACLU sued for recovery of lawyers fees in the court cases.
Now a judge has ruled that the State owes $224k in lawyers fees to the ACLU.

Kim Davis’ lawyers are spinning this as a victory since Davis herself is not personally liable.
There is a lot of comment expressing disappointment that the judge did not rule that Kin Davis herself was personally liable for the fees.
I am not sure that the disappointment was fully justified. The position of County Clerk in Rowan County is an elected position. Effectively the electors voted for Davis to run the County Clerk’s office. They presumably knew of her convictions that gay marriage should not be allowed before they elected her. (NOTE – Davis ran for office and was elected as a Democrat).
So, the taxpayers who elected a person should be accountable.
The unfortunate aspect of the judge’s ruling is that, because the State of Kentucky, anxious to backup Davis in her quixotic battle, became a defendant in the case brought by the ACLU, the state is the body that now has to pay the lawyer’s fees. Ideally, the judge would have ruled that Rowan County electors should pay the fees award. After all, they elected Kim Davis.


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