Judge Rejects ACLU’s Attempt to Recover $230K in Costs From Kim Davis Over ‘Gay Marriage’ License Legal Battle

FRANKFORT, Ky. — A federal judge has rejected the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) attempt to recover more than $230,000 in costs from Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis over its recent legal battle surrounding her refusal to issue marriage licenses to homosexuals as long as her name was on the document.

“[T]he plaintiffs are not ‘prevailing parties’ within the meaning of § 1988, and are therefore not entitled to an award of attorneys’ fees,” wrote U. S. Magistrate Judge Edward Atkins on Monday.

He noted that legislative changes—not a court ruling—brought an end to the legal matter, which was subsequently declared moot. Therefore, Atkins explained, the ACLU and the homosexuals it represented cannot be considered the victors in the case.

“[U]pon the enactment of Kentucky Senate Bill 216, which removed the name of the county clerk from marriage license forms, all claims asserted in this action, including the pending appeals, were dismissed as moot, and the preliminary injunction, vacated,” he outlined.

“This voluntary conduct by the state changing the marriage license forms so that the county clerk, Kim Davis, was no longer required to sign the license, does not signal that the plaintiffs prevailed in the action, and cannot serve as the basis for an award of attorney’s fees,” Atkins ruled.

As previously reported, the ACLU had sued Davis in November, asking that the court require her to pay $233,058 in legal fees and other expenses from the marriage license case.

“Courts recognize that when successful civil rights plaintiffs obtain a direct benefit from a court-ordered victory, such as in this case, they can be entitled to their legal expenses to deter future civil rights violations by government officials,” William Sharp, legal director of the Kentucky ACLU, told reporters.

  • Connect with Christian News

Davis’ attorneys, conversely, argued that the organization wasn’t entitled to the payment since Davis prevailed in the matter in the long run.

“The ACLU is not entitled to attorney’s fees according to the prevailing standard in the Sixth Circuit,” remarked Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, in a statement. “Kim Davis won the case and the case is closed. County clerks are now able to perform their public service without being forced to compromise their religious liberty.”

U.S. District Judge David Bunning had dismissed the outstanding legal challenges against Davis this past August after the state legislature passed a law that removed the names of county clerks from all marriage licenses, thus assuaging Davis’ concerns.

“In light of these proceedings, and in view of the fact that the marriage licenses continue to be issued without incident, there no longer remains a case or controversy before the court,” he wrote.

Davis had been in national headlines in 2015 after she declined to issue same-sex “marriage” licenses as long as her name was on the documents. Davis, who attends a Oneness Apostolic Pentecostal assembly, said that she would do so if her name was removed.

Her refusal soon led to three lawsuits—Miller v. Davis, Ermold v. Davis and Yates v. Davis—filed by homosexuals who sought to force Davis to issue the licenses.

The ACLU led the legal push, and in September 2015, U.S. District Judge David Bunning ordered that Davis issue the licenses despite her religious identity. As she continued to refuse to issue the licenses without the accommodation, Bunning ordered that Davis be placed behind bars until she was willing to comply. In the meantime, the judge arranged for a deputy clerk to sign the licenses in her absence.

Davis was released from the Carter County Jail five days later after her attorneys filed an appeal of the contempt order, and also because Bunning was satisfied that her deputy clerks were providing the licenses instead. He stipulated her release on the condition that she not interfere with her deputies.

By the end of the year, new Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin issued an executive order for the Department for Libraries and Archives to release new licenses that do not cite the county or the name of the county clerk. Months later, the state legislature passed a law altering the licenses similar to Bevin’s order.

“[T]he plaintiffs’ claim for relief did not become moot when a particular event occurred such as the issuance of marriage licenses, but became moot due to a change of law,” Atkins noted on Monday. “This voluntary conduct, however, cannot serve as the basis for an award of attorney’s fees.”

Liberty Counsel applauded Atkins’ decision.

“The ACLU and others still want to punish Kim Davis for daring to take a stand for religious liberty,” Vice President of Legal Affairs Horatio Mihet said in a statement, “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.”


A special message from the publisher...

Dear Reader, because of your generous support, we have received enough funds to send many audio Bibles to Iraqi and Syrian refugees displaced by ISIS in the Middle East. Many have been distributed and received with gladness. While we provide for the physical needs of the people, we seek to provide the eternal hope only found in Jesus Christ through the word of God. Would you join us by making a donation today to this important work? Please click here to send an audio Bible to a refugee family >>

Print Friendly
  • Grace Kim Kwon

    Yes, Christian Americans exist to stand up against falsehood’s bullies and glorify God; it’s the only true American way. $230,000 for the single case? Wow. USA is so rich. How much is the entire North American continent? How much food does it yield each year? How much would a man be willing to pay for a single copy of the Holy Bible 600 years ago? Mankind never needed Mars. NASA should work to greenify Sahara first. Money is a mere number, but the life on Planet Earth is priceless. USA must stop equating the evil with the good; it brings all kinds of lawlessness. The West is crazy in the absense of Christianity. The West needs Christianity for salvation and righteousness like all others do.

  • InTheChurch

    ACLU loves their money.

    • Chris

      Like most human beings they don’t live on air. Doesn’t the bible say ‘a workman is worthy of his hire’?

      • mtman2

        Yeah and the Devil gets his due~!

        • Chris

          Never heard of the devil standing up for people’s rights. Have heard of the ACLU doing that. Even the rights of people they disagree with wholeheartedly. Maybe you should listen a bit less to the propaganda and check out the facts for yourself.

          • mtman2

            I know the full facts thoroughly on these usurpers and have for decades and they are clear if you looked instead of being willingly brainwashed and a shill for the lie they perpetuate.
            I’ll be shocked when they disavow NAMBLA and go after the preponents of Sharia which IS antithetical to AMERICANISM~!

          • Chris

            “I know the full facts thoroughly on these usurpers and have for decades
            and they are clear if you looked instead of being willingly brainwashed
            and a shill for the lie they perpetuate.”

            Really? So it’s a lie that they’ve helped Christians?

            From an article in Christianity Today ”

            I would like to say a word in defense
            of the American Civil Liberties Union. Christians—including me, both in
            the pages of CT and elsewhere—often criticize the ACLU for advocating
            separation of church and state in ways that seem less grounded in the
            Constitution and in history than in an ideological desire for a
            religion-free public arena. On the other hand, I shudder when fellow
            Christians blithely dismiss the organization as fundamentally biased
            against them. Some call it the Anti-Christian Liberals Union or the
            Anti-Christian Litigation Unit. There are other, less friendly acronyms
            as well. I think the ACLU is wrong to oppose religious expression in the
            public square, but being wrong is not the same as being evil.

            More to the point, the ACLU is often right about the
            First Amendment’s free exercise clause, taking on fights that others
            refuse. It might surprise some critics that the ACLU defends the free
            speech and free exercise rights of, well, Christians.”

            It would seem you are wrong.

          • mtman2

            You keep hiding from tbe very facts in this article and why WE are here.

            There is no seperation of Church and state in tbe Constitution.
            You cite 2 cases were they defended Christians- I’ll wait for it.

            Again they defend NAMBLA
            which is indefensible.

            You got nothing but platitudes.
            Face it your pet “snake” would turn on you in a heart beat~!

          • Chris

            “There is no separation of Church and state in the Constitution.”

            There is according to the Supreme court and to Thomas Jefferson.

            “You cite 2 cases were they defended Christians- I’ll wait for it.”

            ACLU of Delaware (2007) prevailed in a lawsuit brought
            on behalf of CHRISTIANS, pagans, and Wiccans, alleging that a department
            store violated a Delaware public accommodations law by canceling
            community courses after individuals complained about the religious
            beliefs that were being taught in the centers.

            ACLU of the National Capital Area (2007) brought suit on behalf of CHRISTIAN, Muslim, and Jewish firefighters and paramedics who wear beards as a matter of religious observance. The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia agreed with the ACLU that the District of Columbia’s policy prohibiting these individuals from wearing
            beards violated their religious freedom rights.

            Still waiting for you to admit you are wrong.

            “Again they defend NAMBLA which is indefensible.”

            Interesting. Let’s investigate the specifics of the case. “Curley v. NAMBLA was a wrongful death lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts in 2000, by Barbara and Robert Curley against the North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA). The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts
            (ACLU-M) represented NAMBLA and was successful in getting the suit
            dismissed based on the specific legal issue that NAMBLA is organized as
            an association, not a corporation.

            The Curleys continued the suit as a wrongful death action against individual NAMBLA members and NAMBLA Steering Committee members. The Curleys dropped the lawsuit in 2008 because the plaintiffs had only one witness prepared to testify that NAMBLA somehow incited one of the convicted criminals, but a judge ruled the witness was not competent to testify/.”

            To quote Thomas More “would you break the law in order to capture the devil? Indeed I would sir. More replied and when the last law was destroyed and the Devil turned to rend you to pieces, behind what would you hide?” See either everyone has rights under the law or no one has. You can’t pick and choose.

            But then, as you wrote “You got nothing but platitudes.”

          • mtman2

            Liberal/Progressives statist’s shills such yourself are so far out of touch as to entirely miss reality by miles.
            I’m familiar with the NAMBLA case.
            For you folks out there that don’t know what it is-
            NORTH
            AMERICAN
            MAN
            BOY
            LOVE
            ASSOCIATION
            That’s right child molester’s-!!!
            Here’s the rap kid-
            no decent org would touch such a defense for love nor money.
            But the ACLU did voluntarily and have done way worse.

            Again- “separation of church and state” is not in the Constitution.
            So I’ll clarify this for you-
            No it is not…

            Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptist’s to assuage their fears of a return of religious persecution as was the case for them under the British State Church prior to the War for Independence. Baptist’s during that time were publically whipped, imprisoned, starved and hung for their beliefs. Yes here -!
            So Jefferson was addressing that genuine fear that was asked about.
            His letter assured tbem that NO government intrusion is allowed by the Constitutions Bill of RIGHTS and that the 1st-Amendment means what it says.
            So Chris you should read the first two sentences of the Bills 1st-Amendment. Self evident.
            This was all exactly viewed for what it was meant for 146 yrs til Justice Hugo Black(an avowed racist) in 1947 legislated from the bench reversing any semblance of Jefferson’s letter to the Baptist’s.
            Which is of no consequence as to what the 1st-Amendment states.
            So no it is not there and the clear message of the First-Amendment stands as stated.

            As far as the ACLU representing Christian individuals you have provided no such evidence.
            Tho you pointed out how the ACLU used the term “CHRISTIAN” to insert Satanist’s etc into a public forum.
            They represented no true Christian individuals or specific church for their protection.
            This shows the opposite of what I asked for as no true Christian would put tbeir name on a list of Satan worshipper’s.
            WE have the ACLJ and other legal help that actually respect us not sue us as does the ACLU.
            As I stated platitudes and thin air is all you’ve come up with.
            The ACLU is a communist instituted enterprise- you actually look into that- I’m not your professor.
            Then look up their stated profession of purpose- I have nothing more to waste time on here~!

          • Chris

            “Liberal/Progressives statist’s shills such yourself are so far out of touch as to entirely miss reality by miles.”

            Yes I know you are obsessed with liberals and conservatives but I am NOT. Two points.
            1) I am Australian.
            2) I consider the left/right divide dead. If you want to classify me politically I am a pragmatist.

            “I’m familiar with the NAMBLA case.”

            Good. Then you know that they were falsely accused of a crime. As to the organization itself I think NAMBLA is disgusting and reprehensible. But they shouldn’t be denied their rights under the law.

            “no decent org would touch such a defense for love nor money.
            But the ACLU did voluntarily and have done way worse.”

            So you think if a group is bad enough they should be denied their legal rights? Hmmm I find fundies bad enough. Their intolerance, arrogance and desire to brainwash children is truly disgusting. They should be denied their legal rights as well. Wouldn’t you agree?

            “Again- “separation of church and state” is not in the Constitution.
            So I’ll clarify this for you-
            No it is not…”

            Once again I’ll point out that the people who wrote the thing as well as the supreme court who’s job it is to interpret it disagree. But who are they compared to you.

            The words Jefferson used was ‘wall of separation’ You can spin it however you like but he was saying the government can’t intrude in their lives because it is precluded from doing so.

            “So Chris you should read the first two sentences of the Bills 1st-Amendment. Self evident.”

            I have. You’re wrong.

            My advice is chuck out your copy of Barton and pick up a copy of a genuine consitutional scholar.

            “As far as the ACLU representing Christian individuals you have provided no such evidence.”

            Lie. I did exactly that. I quoted several cases where they represented Christians.

            You have no idea what those Christians believed except where the case indicated it.

            You truly are shifting the goalposts to suit yourself. Oh and by the way, two of those reports came from Christianity Today. A conservative magazine. Since you obviously have no regard for the truth and will move the goalposts whichever way you want this discussion is over. Thank you for your input.

          • mtman2

            OK – now that I got you to find the good find the same number of suits against Christians- because they have done it all the time to as I say later that is no longer working from Blacks misrepresentation and they are now losing or if taken up on their challenge back off. They love to “rape” the little people esp Christians- but yes they have on very rare occasion helped. And by now your know from research that this is true as I do know from research.

            Again- “separation” is NOT in the Constitution- is it? Find it? You can’t.
            Justice Hugo Black 146 yrs later in 1947 on a whim took Jeffersons letter and reversed his meaning and twisted the letters purpose then reinstalled it falsely over the 1st-Amendmenttjoho doesn’t change it you see= it was only an opinion. By an avowed racist to boot.

            *Tho I will give you that both items totally protect religion FROM the state not the other way around which IS what Black tried to do tho it is not working anymore as the 1st is clear. And the ACLU used that mischaracterization for years to threaten Christians- my problem with it is that they did that knowing they were using bad case law wrongly against a multitude of little people for several decades until WE fought back on the merits of the actual 1st-Amendment
            Further Jefferson had nothing to do with drafting or writing the Constitution or Bill of RIGHTS as he was living in France. His role I clearly outline before as potus to assure safety to the Baptist’s
            It was James Madison and others including many Christian pastors input.
            See Chris WE don”t need Scholars to lead us by the nose this with their opinions WE can read every reason why what was written by the very writers in their own hand as they wrote all that down so there is no excuse for discrepencies. Moreover in total all 3-Founding documents are about 17 pages. Tho the writings on it all are hundreds of pages in their own hand.

            YES LETS INVESTIGATE THE SPECIFICS OF THE CASE.
            Be sure to completely read the exerpt I posted for you on that NAMBLA child rape murder case below as to whats really what and was said about it to actually clarify the heiniousness of the whole mess.
            And NO everyone does not have all rights under the law for under law they can lose those rghts. Yes some rights are due process that can lead to conviction and the death penalty= loss of even the right to live. Which I believe child killers and rapists should get.

            See Chris child pornagraphy is a crime to have so an org promoting it should also be illegal. ie- NAMBLA should not exist. Tho you act like a homosexual with protecting rights of perverts here. Is that the case with you then? The CEO of NAMBLA got busted for it- see it attracts that type…
            Still waiting for you to admit your wrong- being you are on the true purpose of the ACLU, and “separation not being in the Constitution and that it was ill advised for the ACLU to represent that creepy outfit and that Kim Davis did not deserve to be sued by them for a lifes savings for her religious beliefs.

      • InTheChurch

        I did not find that statement in the bible so can you please give the scripture you are referring to

        • Chris

          Certainly. 1 Timothy 5: 18

          And thank you for your courtesy in making the request. Much appreciated.

          • InTheChurch

            great verse

  • Larry W. Jones

    I am so over seeing that fat, ugly, old whore’s face on the news. She should crawl back into her hole and never emerge.

  • mtman2

    They should be the AAUCTU-
    Anti-American-Un-Civil-Tyranny Union~!

    • Ambulance Chaser

      Oh? Why?

      • mtman2

        What suddenly Christ followers no longer have 1st-Amendment Rights?
        Evidently the so called ACLU doesn’t think so- along with every other tyrannical oppression they now determine is relevant to impose on the citizenry~!

        • Ambulance Chaser

          When has the ACLU ever said Christ followers “no longer have First Amendment rights?”

          • mtman2

            If you can read it’s a ludiciris question~!

          • Chris

            Care to explain why? Or do you just major in pronouncements?

          • mtman2

            HEY-!!! Are you awake?
            What’s this article about.
            Are you stupid or just think WE are?

            IF the AAUCTU did more than harrass decent folks and stand for filth like NAMBLA they’d be going after Islamo killers for real blood money- but they’re gutless cowards started and funded by communist’s.
            WHAT-
            I should do your research for you~?

          • Chris

            So you think a group of lawyers who specialize in constitutional law should go after killers?

            Why? As to the ACLU harassing ‘decent folk’ they have defended anyone who’s constitutional rights have been violated. That includes atheists, Christians, etc. Strange how you don’t know about that. Are you stupid or just think I am?

          • mtman2

            No stupid is as stupid believes- brainwashed as you are to actually believe what you wrote- naivety will work.
            This communist sponored group along with the SPLC are totally antithetical to Americanism and again uphold NAMBLA.
            You truly must do more complete and diligent research on these super Far-Left orgs that get funding from the likes of George Soros a Globalist henchman dedicated to take America down.
            You evidently did not read this article or you work for the org in question and definitely are clueless as to the meaning and purpose of America’s Founding 3-documents.
            Sueing Mrs. davis is clear evidence of their hatred for her First-Amendment Rights and would cripple her for life if they could have~!

          • Chris

            “No stupid is as stupid believes- brainwashed as you are to actually believe what you wrote- naivety will work.”

            From an article in Christianity Today ”

            I would like to say a word in defense
            of the American Civil Liberties Union. Christians—including me, both in
            the pages of CT and elsewhere—often criticize the ACLU for advocating
            separation of church and state in ways that seem less grounded in the
            Constitution and in history than in an ideological desire for a
            religion-free public arena. On the other hand, I shudder when fellow
            Christians blithely dismiss the organization as fundamentally biased
            against them. Some call it the Anti-Christian Liberals Union or the
            Anti-Christian Litigation Unit. There are other, less friendly acronyms
            as well. I think the ACLU is wrong to oppose religious expression in the
            public square, but being wrong is not the same as being evil.

            More to the point, the ACLU is often right about the
            First Amendment’s free exercise clause, taking on fights that others
            refuse. It might surprise some critics that the ACLU defends the free
            speech and free exercise rights of, well, Christians.”

            It would seem you are wrong. Isn’t that right? Now if you are really a Christian then you’ll admit your error. If you just give lip service to your faith then you’l just refuse to answer, or scream abuse at me for having shown you wrong, or dismiss this Christian magazine as not ‘really’ Christian.

          • peanut butter

            mtman2 There’s no need to argue with these atheists, they will only run you around in circles to get to spew out their twisted logic, or at least what they think is logical. They come on all these sites to argue,,, the only thing that keeps them happy inside, sowing discord and confusion. Peace out, my brother, have a good rest tonight.

          • Chris

            Penut Butter are you suggesting I am an atheist? Guess again.

            “…they will only run you around in circles to get to spew out their twisted logic, or at least what they think is logical.”

            And what my professors at uni think is logic as well. Care to show me where my statements are illogical?

    • mj58

      Atrocious Criminal Liars Union

  • peanut butter

    I’m more than thrilled to read this. The ACLU declined to take on any more ‘religious’ lawsuits after taking on this anti-Christian lawsuit. It is rightful that they receive no recompense for the money they spent to harass this woman after barry homobama crammed ‘gay marriage’ down the throats of all fifty states. I’m still waiting to see THAT one overturned. But I will sleep better tonight knowing that Kim Davis won’t lose her home or business to this sinful scheme that cost others their homes and businesses. I think they ALL should get hazard pay for what they have been through and ten times that for restitution.

  • C_Alan_Nault

    The ACLU are horrible people

  • Carolyn Norman

    A bunch of us should sue them for violating our rights