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ACLU Wants Kim Davis To Pay Up. Big Time.

by matt baume September 22, 2016


You probably thought you’d seen the last of her. No such luck. The ACLU isn’t done with Kim Davis yet.

The latest plot twist in Kim’s sordid tale is a filing by the ACLU, requesting over a quarter million dollars in recouped legal fees. They spent a ton of money defending the right of same-sex couples to marry, and now the law entitles them to recover those expenses.

Civil rights cases are special in that the winner can recoup what they spent from the loser. It’s a measure intended to discourage rights violations by government officials.

Kim would not personally be on the hook for the payout — it’s unclear who would be, but it’s likely to be the county that she works for. Maybe something for voters to keep in mind next time they go to the polls. Put a homophobic person who violates the law in office, and you could be on the hook for all the pointless litigation they cause.

There’s a lot of procedural legal back-and-forth that will need to follow this filing. Questions of who has to pay and who doesn’t depend on the way in which the case was dismissed, and the parties’ changing relationships with each other. It’ll likely be many months before we get a ruling, and even longer before the ACLU gets any money — if any.

Ultimately, of course, the law was changed in Kentucky and Kim Davis could no longer make a fuss about being forced to violate whatever conscience she has. At that point, she was no longer useful to the right-wing politicians who were using her to support their own careers, and she’s been largely ignored — as she should be. Would it be funny if her lasting impact was a big payout to the ACLU.

matt baume
matt baume


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