While he was still a candidate in 2015, Republican Governor of Kentucky Matt Bevin supported Rowan County clerk Kim Davis's opposition to legalized gay marriage.
Fast forward to 2019, Bevin's lawyers said Davis is under scrutiny for "conduct that violates civil rights" and believe she should be held accountable for the $225,000 legal fees and court costs incurred from gay couples who sued her in 2015.
After the U.S. Supreme Court's groundbreaking decision to legalize gay marriage, Davis refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses because of her religious beliefs – which Bevin fully supported and referred to the Kentucky County clerk as "an inspiration ... to the children of America."
She consequently spent five days in jail for contempt of court.
Now, Bevin's attorneys are accusing Davis of failing to do her job. The former allies will face off in court as lawyers try to reach a decision on who should pay for the lawsuit.
According to court briefs, Bevin's attorney Palmer G. Vance II said:
"Only Davis refused to comply with the law as was her obligation and as required by the oath of office she took."
In 2017, a district judge ruled that four couples prevailed against Davis as a public official and declared that the state of Kentucky would bear the incurred legal costs.
However, Bevin appealed the ruling, and his attorneys told the 6th Circuit in the court briefs ahead of the case that Davis acted alone without the state's consent.
Her attorney disagreed and said she acted on behalf of the state.
Davis attorney Roger K. Gannam wrote in one brief:
"Davis acted for the commonwealth in the issuance of marriage licenses. Marriage licensing is a quintessentially and exclusively state-level function in Kentucky."
Out in the cyber-courtroom of Twitter, the gavel dropped in favor of Davis paying for the legal fees.
People of opposed political backgrounds and religious beliefs seemed to have made a unified decision.
If you refuse to do your job, there are consequences.
Though his stance was agreeable, siding with Bevin still left a bad taste.
On Thursday, three judges will hear arguments at the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati to determine who will bear the litigation expenses.