The ACLU has filed yesterday a "Hail Mary" request for attorney's fees in the case of Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, who won her fight for religious freedom after a federal judge issued an order dismissing all three 2015 marriage license lawsuits against her.Kim Davis did not win her case. If I drive at 50-MPH in a 40-MPH zone and get a ticket, I still have to pay the fine, even if the state subsequently increases the speed limit to 50-per.
Let us recall what happened (the Court's order — below — has some of the details).
- Davis, an elected official, refused (after the ruling in Obergefell) to issue marriage licenses to gay couples due to a religious objection. She would not permit deputies in her office to issue the licenses either. Davis declared that her office would never issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple in spite of the fact that gay couples then had a constitutional right to marry.
- Those seeking to marry took Davis to federal court.
- While the matter was pending, United States District Court Judge David L. Bunning issued a preliminary injunction, enjoining Davis from refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.
- Davis asked the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit to stay the injunction. The Court of Appeals refused to do so noting that Davis had virtually no chance of prevailing on appeal.
- Davis refused to comply with the injunction and was held in contempt, spending a few days and nights in jail.
- The Court determined that deputy clerks had no objection to issuing the licenses.
- Davis was ordered not to interfere and was released from jail.
- The marriage licenses were issued and continued to be issued.
Eventually, the Kentucky legislature removed the clerks' names from the marriage licenses. Liberty Counsel claimed that the matter was now moot and all of the cases were dismissed.
However, the intervention of the court was required in order to stop the state from obstructing the constitutional rights of gay citizens. Davis was forced to do what she said she would never do which was to allow her office to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. In the process the state caused the plaintiffs to run up legal fees through the ACLU. The ACLU is now entitled to those fees. Kim Davis frustrated the constitutional rights of constituents.
Liberty Counsel is designated an anti-LGBT hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.