Kim Davis Loses Appeal, So KY Taxpayers Still Owe $224,703 in Legal Fees

Oct 25, 2017

By Hemant Mehta

Kentucky taxpayers will still have to pay nearly $225,000 because Rowan County clerk Kim Davis couldn’t keep her religion to herself.

We learn in July that taxpayers would be on the hook for the bill because Davis illegally denied gay couples their marriage licenses in 2015, even though marriage equality was the law of the land. Two of those couples sued her, and U.S. District Judge David Bunning made very clear in July why the government owed the couples’ attorneys $222,695 in legal fees (plus a bit more for other costs).

Davis represented the Commonwealth of Kentucky when she refused to issue marriage licenses to legally eligible couples. The buck stops there,” Bunning wrote.

“It is unfortunate that Kentucky taxpayers will likely bear the financial burden of the unlawful actions and litigation strategies of an elected official, but those same voters are free to take that information into account at the ballot box,” [legal director for the ACLU of Kentucky William] Sharp said.

Davis and her lawyer Mat Staver appealed the decision, saying it wasn’t her fault, but that was always a weak argument since this was totally her fault.

Continue reading by clicking the name of the source below.

20 comments on “Kim Davis Loses Appeal, So KY Taxpayers Still Owe $224,703 in Legal Fees

  • This is a big win for secularists. Quite high profile as well. This story was all over the news a while back and most Americans must know who she is. Let the tax payers cough up the money for the legal fees. Maybe they’ll think twice before voting for a belligerent brainwashed idiot like the one (two?) in this picture above. I don’t feel bad for them and this case will stand visibly as a reminder to other clerks who hate gays and don’t mind inflicting that hate on them in a public way.

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  • Big win, Laurie? Trumpism (the new fascism) is succeeding. Anyone can see that.

    Trump has hired a number of bigoted judges for lifetime positions. This will have permanent consequences in terms of abortion rights, LGBT rights. etc.

    President Donald Trump has moved quickly in trying to fill federal court vacancies, outpacing his immediate predecessors during the first 200 days in office in circuit and district court appointments.

    To date, Trump has nominated 44 federal judges and scored eight confirmations, including Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch.

    Eleven of the president’s nominations are to circuit courts and 23 are to district courts. The nine others are to specialty courts such as the Court of Claims, the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, and the U.S. Tax Court.

    No big win for anyone. Secularists are losing this fight, as are all progressives and humane and caring people of reason in this country. A small victory is not a big win.

    Trump is doing very well, is a good salesman, has surrogates that are adept at telling lies.The democrats are paralyzed. He is a fascist, is leading a radical insurgency, and lying to the public about his tax plan and healthcare plan, and creating false enemies of the US: the press, immigrants, dissenters, the democrats, etc. There is no easy way to combat lies and propaganda – and there is no cause for celebration.

    Let’s not forget voter suppression and gerrymandering.

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  • @OP link – More technically, Bunning noted that
    Davis’ team failed to point out any legal errors in the original judgment or why the penalty was unjust.
    It’s not that shocking, though, to learn that her Christian Right lawyers don’t actually understand the law

    Or more likely don’t WANT to understand the law!

    they just want to play pretend to raise money for their organizations.

    But the court does not use “faith-thinking” to “reinterpret” the law to mean what they and their sheeple followers would like it to mean!

    Who would have think it? 🙂

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  • @OP – Kentucky taxpayers will still have to pay nearly $225,000 because Rowan County clerk Kim Davis couldn’t keep her religion to herself.

    With legal costs like these, the obvious disreputable strategy, was to price justice out of the financial reach of the victims!

    but those same voters are free to take that information into account at the ballot box,”

    I’m uncertain about US and State Laws, but in the UK officials and representatives have been surcharged for wilfully or perversely incurring costs through illegal activities!

    Someone should sue these people personally for the money on behalf of the taxpayers – and possibly sue the Xtian lawyers for gross negligence or wilful misrepresentation of the law!

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  • Dan

    The Gorsuch appointment is a huge disappointment but did you catch this article on Slate?

    Gorsuch – an illegitimate appointment by an illegitimate President.

    Trumpism (the new fascism) is succeeding

    No it’s not. One more year of this crap and the American public will deliver a flame thrower punishment to the Republicans. We are neutralized temporarily but if we get a decent turnout in the midterms one year from now we can start to turn this around. I hope the special investigation will yield results by then.

    Do you notice the other legal wins that we can be thankful for? Here’s a list of the FFRF legal wins:

    I asked once if the disasters brought on by Trump & co. could be reversed in the future and I’m not sure about it still but I do remember that one criticism of executive orders is that they are easy to produce but also easy to undo by the next President. Many of Trumps stupid actions have been through these orders and he’s done nothing through legislative action. The next President can undo the worst of it. Getting rid of Gorsuch, not so easy. Hopefully the current Justices will hang on until we can neutralize Gorsuch with more liberal Justices in the future. He will always be an oddball there.

    I saw Justice Breyer speak once (book signing) and he pointed out that the S. Court issues decisions and then assumes that the public will abide by those decisions but that’s not always what happens. The court feels this tension when they rule on touchy issues. They keep it in the back of their minds that they public complies out of respect but that respect has limits. He gives examples of noncompliance in his book which I have on my shelves here. I’ll look that up if you want to hear about it. So although I’m very disappointed in the conservative appointments, they can only go so far in turning back the clock before the public will turn on them. Also as a check on their power are the state and federal legislatures as they can make changes to the laws if they need to pull the rug out from under rogue judges.

    Secularists are losing this fight,

    This is a wake up call. Want to know how pissed off people can get? Just watch that documentary by Ken Burns on Vietnam that has played lately on PBS. All in the background the college kids are rioting and the protest spread like wildfire to the point that Kissenger, in his book admits that his negotiating leverage was seriously compromised at the Paris peace talks. His adversaries were well aware that the administration was in serious trouble with the American public and were in full retreat. Lesson: public fury is a dangerous thing. It can get hellish out there when we reach the breaking point. I was too young at the time to take part but those riots and civil unrest were on TV news every night and I remember it as part of the backdrop of my childhood. It left a lasting impression.

    One weird thing about these predatory fat cats; once they get themselves set for life they quickly turn to blaming the poor for their own victimhood while continuing to steal the safety net out from under them down to the crumb of cheese from their poor mouse. All it takes at that point is for Melania to say, “Let them eat cake” and we’re here:

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  • Laurie

    Public fury. There are a lot of angry people out there on the other side too. Not just worried about judicial appointments. It’s not the 60s anymore. People are very busy with their cell phones these days. But maybe things will turn around, like you said.

    I also think things might get worse. We have a press secretary talking about fake news and an extremely reactionary president and Congress; and they are all lying through their teeth. What if we lose in the mid terms? What if Trump is reelected? Trumpism is unmistakably – unmistakably, Laurie – fascistic. I am not sure how a democracy turns into a full blown fascist state, but it happened in Germany, following the Weimar Republic. Things can change, you know – if the people allow it to or are fooled into allowing it to, or are frightened enough.

    Read this (please). (Very short. Instructive.)

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  • Dan, Laurie, et al…

    There are excellent points being made. I’d just like to make a point of distinguishing the past, present, and future. Can’t change the past. The present SUCKS. But, the future??? That’s up to us. I want to echo Laurie’s sentiments. I sincerely hope that this delving into dreck wakes people up to the importance of actually voting and serves as a conduit for better candidates to enter the fray. This just might pave the way for more secularists to enter politics.

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  • I’m with you, crooked.

    But I think Americans really need to dig deep to see the long roots to the current problems. Reset to Obama, say, won’t cut it.

    Its time for a Newer Deal.

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  • Only deep Americans dig deep – and they represent the few.

    Voter suppression and gerrymandering is a big problem. The Trump administration has gone after voter “fraud” which all the experts agree is not a real issue; it was a pretext to engage in voter suppression.

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  • Newer Deal? Here’s one, Phil. (It’s called How to Destroy the Country)

    House narrowly clears budget, paving way for $1.5 trillion tax cut
    House Republicans have passed a budget bill, narrowly overcoming internal GOP dissension to clear a major obstacle in the party’s quest to overhaul the federal tax code.

    The budget legislation paves the way for Republicans to cut taxes by as much as $1.5 trillion without needing any votes from Democrats. Republicans are expected to introduce the first version of their tax bill next week.

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  • Dan

    What if we lose in the mid terms? What if Trump is reelected?

    A midterm loss will propel me to the doors of the Canadian consulate to set that option in motion. If Trump wins again then I’ll move this to the next level. I can’t even imagine what this place will be like after eight whole years of these slash and burn tactics. I’d be fine here but the young people in the family have much less opportunity than I had at their age. If a majority of Americans vote in that shit-for-brains ogre and his entourage then that’s where I give up. If it weren’t for the young people, I’d just set up housekeeping in the South of France and Paris and never look back. I already know I’m comfortable there but I think it’s easier for us to get Canadian papers from here. More practical.

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  • Can’t multi-task… never could.

    I meant to add that part of this rejection by the young comes from the fact that they get to see the rest of the world more than old fools. The get to see the extreme, out-on-a limb culture they are living in. This has an effect something like education, but is more universally graspable.

    Like Jerry Springer, the Opera we need Cameron Mackintosh, Sondheim, Les Miserable guys and someone (Trey Parker?) channeling Dario Fo to create a spectacular Opera Buffo Trump, The Circus at the End of Time. (Or some such. I have a plot. Now if only Cameron’s people will get back to mine….)

    The rest of the world will love it. It will play in all the major cities. The famous will fight to be in it, forming queues. And comparatively grown up Americans will learn what the world thinks of them.

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  • In the UK prospective candidates for social work jobs are expected to have professional ethical standards, NOT Biblical bigotry!

    A university’s decision to expel a student for posting a comment online saying homosexuality was a sin, was lawful, a court has ruled.

    Devout Christian Felix Ngole, 39, from Barnsley, was removed from a post-graduate social work course at the University of Sheffield.

    He argued that throwing him out breached his human rights.

    But Deputy High Court judge Rowena Collins Rice ruled that university bosses acted within the law.

    After the hearing Mr Ngole said he intended to appeal against the judge’s decision.

    Mr Ngole was thrown off the two-year MA social work degree course in 2015 after he expressed the view that “the Bible and God identify homosexuality as a sin”.

    He made the comments in an online discussion about Kim Davis, a state official in the US state of Kentucky, who refused to issue licences for same sex marriages.

    The University of Sheffield said he was taking a “professionally qualifying degree” with the aim of becoming a social worker and argued what he had said would affect gay people he might work with.

    Dismissing Mr Ngole’s claim for judicial review, Judge Collins Rice said: “Social workers have considerable power over the lives of vulnerable service users and trust is a precious professional commodity.”

    Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, which is supporting Mr Ngole, said: “The court has ruled that though Mr Ngole is entitled to hold his Biblical views on sexual ethics, he is not entitled to express them.

    Which is of course correct, when it comes to exercising professional ethical judgements in dealing with the legal rights of vulnerable clients!

    Like Kim Davis, Mr Ngole lost his court action – (and his career), because he could not, or would not, keep his religious bigotry out of his work!

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  • Crookedshoes wrote:

    Can’t change the past. The present SUCKS. But, the future??? That’s up to us

    I supported HRC in the primaries – my SO voted for Bernie Sanders. I remember patiently explaining to her that Sanders was too far left to have a chance in the general. Hillary was the only one who could defeat Trump.

    Boy do I feel like an idiot now 🙂

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  • Don’t feel like an idiot. You didn’t vote for Trump. They are the ones that should feel like idiots. And the ideologues who voted for Stein. Some Sanders fanatics voted for that crazy libertarian; shows you how ignorant they are. And Trump would have labelled Sanders a socialist (which he is) and would have won.

    (Hillary Clinton was maligned and would have made a good president. Sanders, who I like, should have endorsed her right away and done more to get her elected, the old fart.)

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  • Alan4discussion #15
    Oct 27, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    In the UK prospective candidates for social work jobs
    are expected to have professional ethical standards,
    NOT Biblical bigotry!

    I think this shows the contrast in approach between European countries like the UK, and the US situation!

    In the UK case, a bigot is fighting and losing, a rear-guard action over losing his career, where enforced professional standards have pre-emptively prevented him from exercising his bigotry in an official capacity.

    In the US the victims are requiring to put up huge legal fees, to fight Kim Davis and those like her, as she exercises her bigotry in the capacity of a public official!
    Many victims would not have the financial means to do so, so in the US they would have to tolerate the abuse, while those flagrantly ignoring ethical standards, smugly continue to abuse from a position as public officials, and USE PUBLIC MONEY to defend their “ASSERTED RIGHT” to do so, if and when they lose!

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  • When a reactionary Christian like Kim Davis loses a court case I just have to have a wee smile. There’s enough misinformation, exploitation and confusion already in the world, without the likes of her and her acolytes thinking they can lord it over the rest of us.

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  • Misinformation is a huge a problem now. Lying is a political necessity for the Republicans. And it has never been like this before.

    I was just watching CNN. Casey Hunt has a new show. She’s interviewing Rand Paul about “tax reform”. He says that everyone should have their taxes lowered including the corporations. She says: can we do that without adding to the deficit?” Stupid soft-ball question. Why are these people so damned scared ands passive??!! No one grills anyone anymore. It’s all so sick. There is zero evidence that corporate tax breaks create jobs! Here’s a nice op-ed piece.

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