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."
Kim Davis, former Kentucky clerk, at odds with Gov. Matt Bevin over attorneys' fees https://t.co/kIGsnSOMPM— The Washington Times (@The Washington Times)1548955505.0
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."
@kylegriffin1 It's beautiful when they turn on each other.— Michael P (@Michael P)1548946848.0
@kylegriffin1 Can we put these two scorpions in a jar and let nature take its course?— Mike Fazioli (@Mike Fazioli)1548949260.0
Out in the cyber-courtroom of Twitter, the gavel dropped in favor of Davis paying for the legal fees.
@HuffPost Couldn't agree more. If you are a government official tasked with upholding the law. You either do your job or quit!— michael (@michael)1548893417.0
@mpo619 @HuffPost She took it upon herself not to give out the marriage license so she needs to pay up or ask Hucka… https://t.co/pZcE4VwWaJ— celestial rose (@celestial rose)1548893908.0
@HuffPost https://t.co/5KeokeOnvW— MED (@MED)1548894568.0
@HuffPost Fair justice served to someone who couldn't herself provide it (even though it was her job)— It's Mueller Time (@It's Mueller Time)1548893426.0
People of opposed political backgrounds and religious beliefs seemed to have made a unified decision.
@HuffPost I totally agree with this. I hear the conservatives side, because I am one. However, she has a job to do.… https://t.co/OdJInrBNQY— Up to No Good 2.0 (@Up to No Good 2.0)1548893863.0
If you refuse to do your job, there are consequences.
@HuffPost Here is where you have to draw the line so people wouldn't get out of control. If she felt uncomfortable… https://t.co/pWa0UVafWx— Mrs Blue Hills (@Mrs Blue Hills)1548894877.0
@HuffPost I expect my local government officials to, at the very least uphold equal rights for every citizen no mat… https://t.co/qAdfqtdzo6— Ryker Stephenson 🏳️🌈 (@Ryker Stephenson 🏳️🌈)1548894610.0
@HuffPost @fromthebunkerjr Of course she should pay fees. What if she was a vegan in a hunting license office? An a… https://t.co/DH4ClSiztf— JonesofCa (@JonesofCa)1548949057.0
Though his stance was agreeable, siding with Bevin still left a bad taste.
@HuffPost @yashar Oh god, this is what it feels like to agree with Matt Bevin. I hate it.— Inuit Siri, certified nobody (@Inuit Siri, certified nobody)1548893585.0
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.