Former Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis may have to pay over $225,000 USD to the same-sex couples who sued her for refusing to grant them marriage licenses after the US Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling 2015.
The couples successfully sued the state for Davis’ actions, and in 2017 a district court judge ruled that the state of Kentucky should pay the court costs.
Kentucky, however, believes that it is Davis who should pay, and lawyers for the state’s Republican Governor Matt Bevin will this week appear before a panel of three judges, seeking them to pass the financial liability onto her, the Lexington Herald Leader reported.
Bevin once regarded Davis as “an inspiration to the children of America” but now says Davis failed to do her job and should be responsible for paying the outstanding amount.
In the briefs provided to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Bevin’s lawyers including Palmer G. Vance II asserted that Davis’ conduct violated civil rights and she acted without state sanction.
“Her local policy stood in direct conflict with her statutory obligation to issue marriage licenses to qualified Kentucky couples,” Vance II wrote, according to the Herald Leader.
“The local policy also undermined the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s interest in upholding the rule of law.
“Davis had an independent and sworn duty to uphold the law as an elected county officer.
“If fees are awarded, they must be the responsibility of the Rowan County clerk’s office, which should be deterred from engaging in conduct that violates civil rights — and leads to costly litigation.”
Back in 2015, Davis was sent to jail for several days when she was found to be in contempt of court for her refusal to follow a court ruling that she was required to issue marriage licences to same-sex couples, regardless of her personal beliefs.
Davis was recently voted out of office as the County Clerk for Rowan County in the November 2018 elections, vacating her office on January 7.