(Madison, WI) The Wisconsin State Journal reported that the legal team who sued Wisconsin over their constitutional amendment protecting marriage asked U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb to recoup almost $1.25 million in legal fees. The legal team, headed by the American Civil Liberties Union, sued the state on behalf of eight same-sex couples. A federal court overturned the state’s constitutional amendment and the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the lower court ruling to stand.
The Wisconsin State Journal reported that the lawyers were asking to recoup the fees in part because of “the hours they put into the case were driven by an aggressive defense of the amendment by lawyers for the state.”
WSJ also reported, “The group also asked that U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb consider the efficiency of their own work and their need to monitor and adjust to rapid developments in same-sex marriage litigation nationwide.”
The legal team argued that federal law allows prevailing parties in civil rights cases can seek an award of costs and expenses which would include reasonable attorney fees. The lawyers are asking for $1,237,623 in attorney fees and $6,181 in out-of-pocket expenses.
Heaven forbid that the state aggressively tries to defend a constitutional amendment that its voters passed! If this federal judge makes the taxpayers of the state of Wisconsin pay for the entire cost of the lawsuit it would add insult to injury. I also find it amazing that an entity that the ACLU claims non-profit status and solicits donations, takes on cases pro bono, believes that $1.25 million is somehow “reasonable.”