Court Denies ACLU’s Request For Attorney’s Fees From Kim Davis, KY County Clerk Who Went To Jail Rather Than Issue Licenses To Same-Sex Couples

(PHOTO: REUTERS/BRENDAN MCDERMID)
Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis speaks during an interview on Fox News Channel’s ‘The Kelly File’ in New York September 23, 2015. A federal judge on Wednesday denied Davis a stay of his order requiring her office to issue marriage licenses to all eligible couples who want one, the latest setback for the Kentucky county clerk who went to jail rather than issue licenses to gay couples.

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis received another victory today when U. S. Magistrate Judge Edward Atkins entered an order in Miller v. Davis, denying the plaintiffs’ demand that Davis pay the ACLU $231,000 in attorney’s fees. Davis previously won her fight for religious freedom when District Judge David Bunning issued an order dismissing Miller and two other 2015 marriage license lawsuits, Ermold v. Davis and Yates v. Davis, bringing to an end the trial proceedings against Davis arising from the 2015 Obergefell decision. In the new ruling, the court holds, “the plaintiffs are not ‘prevailing parties’ . . . and are therefore not entitled to an award of attorneys’ fees.”

Davis, represented by Liberty Counsel, spent six days in jail in 2015 for refusing to issue marriage licenses. Davis would not issue the licenses under her name and authority as it was a violation of her conscience. As a result, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin signed an executive order creating a new marriage license form which does not require a county clerk’s name and title, and the Kentucky General Assembly unanimously made Governor Bevin’s protections permanent for Davis and her fellow county clerks.
“The ACLU and others still want to punish Kim Davis for daring to take a stand for religious liberty,” said Horatio Mihet, Liberty Counsel’s Vice President of Legal Affairs and Chief Litigation Counsel, “but today the court recognized that the ACLU does not deserve to get paid for its bullying. 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,” said Mihet.

Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.

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