Michigan Taxpayers Hit for $1.9 Million in Legal Fees in Gay Marriage Case

This week, the legal team who represented two Hazel Park nurses in their successful challenge of Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage will receive the final payment toward $1.9 million in legal costs and fees–a cost which will be borne by the state’s taxpayers.

By Photo by Mr. Kjetil Ree. (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Photo by Mr. Kjetil Ree. (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

In June 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges overturned state-level bans on same-sex marriage, including Michigan’s 2004 voter-approved gay marriage ban. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette had vigorously defended the ban. The high court ruling paved the way for lesbian nurses Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer to marry in a highly publicized ceremony in Southfield, Michigan on August 22, 2015. The women are raising four children together and had originally sued in 2012 for the right to adopt one another’s children.

In addition to the fees paid to Rowse and DeBoer’s attorneys, the State of Michigan incurred costs of $96,000 for attorney John Bursch, who defended Michigan’s law at the district court level and at the Supreme Court, as well as $148,000 in payments to conservative economists and social scientists hired by the state for the 2014 trial.

"I'll follow you over Kathy. I was probably in more sympathy with your point of ..."

Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow…. My ..."
"If you're at all interested in knowing . . . the Catholic Dogma . . ..."

Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow…. My ..."
"Thank you, Mrs. Harris! Christmas blessings to you. I hope to see you over at ..."

Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow…. My ..."

Browse Our Archives



What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • wayne

    Thank goodness there are no hungry kids in Michigan, so that the state could divert this money to pay for its stupidity!

    • Mike17

      Ah, so you think that the majority of voters in Michigan are just stupid. (The state was merely defending what the majority of voters had decided.) Just what do you mean by ‘stupid’? Do you mean that the majority of voters in Michigan have low intelligence? Do you mean that the majority of voters in Michigan are not capable of rational thinking? Or do you simply mean that you don’t agree with what they decided and so you want to use an unpleasant word to describe them?

  • Paul

    If Americans succumb to the idea of judicial supremacy, the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their government into the hands of an eminent and unelected tribunal. To treat as “settled” and “the law of the land” the decision of five Supreme Court justices who, by their own admission, can find no warrant for their ruling in the text, logic, structure, or original understanding of the Constitution, would indeed be to resign our government into the hands of that eminent and unelected tribunal. That is something that no citizen or statesman, who wishes to sustain the great experiment in ordered liberty bequeathed to us by our Founding Fathers, should be willing to do.

    • Donalbain

      You seem to have accidentally posted a complaint against Loving v Virginia.

      • Paul

        How? Loving v. VA only reaffirmed marriage is between a man and a woman. Obergefell and SCOTUS can’t and didn’t nullify state constitutions, the Obergefell opinion is quite judicially unenforceable and invalid.

        • Donalbain

          Oh. So judicial supremacy is OK if it on a subject you agree with.

        • sei2011 .

          I’m confused. I mean, I’m no expert on the subject, but I could have sworn there were a bunch of states that had anti-miscegenation laws on their books. And since this was 1967, probably those laws were still actively being enforced, and not just gathering dust.

          Ergo, Loving v. VA nullified state constitutions. Stomping your foot and saying “nuh-uh” doesn’t change that.

          • Paul

            You are confused. What does skin color have to do with disordered sexual behavior? If your melanin dictates your behavior, perhaps you should consult a physician.

          • sei2011 .

            Nah, actually I’m not really all that confused.

            Claiming that being gay is “disordered” is a matter of personal opinion, not existential fact ( one with a rather nasty history, I might add, parenthetically). So is claiming that marriage between people of different races is an abomination. SCOTUS says keep your personal opinions way over there where they won’t infringe on the rights of other people who don’t share them. If you don’t mind.

          • Paul

            I do mind. Skin color has nothing to do with sexual behavior, your comparison is non sequitur. Homosexuality is intrinsically disordered, perhaps you should also re-familiarize yourself with human sexual anatomy and it’s purpose. You’re free to disagree but you certainly won’t silence me. The Obergefell opinion is judicially unenforceable and invalid.

          • sei2011 .

            Tell the gay penguins.

            Spend an amusing afternoon googling “gay animals” and… oh for goodness sake, stop looking at the pictures, dear.

            Disagree as loudly as you want, it’s a free country. Just don’t be surprised when people take issue with your hissy fits about SCOTUS rulings that you find personally icky.

          • Paul

            All men may be created equal but their chosen behaviors certainly are not. Thank you for your very apt comparison of dehumanizing homosexual behavior to that of animals. Humans are gifted with reason and free will, it’s what distinguishes our behavior from that of animals.

          • sei2011 .

            I have a suggestion. Why don’t you find an actual gay person and ask them if they personally felt dehumanized by anything I wrote.

            If they say “yes” then I will apologize, abjectly and profusely.

            Until then, I’m out. Bye!

          • Paul

            Pfffttttt!

          • sei2011 .

            You know what? When SCOTUS ruled on the Hobby Lobby case, they pretty much said “facts, schmacts.” If someone sincerely believes something, even if it flies in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary, that’s good enough for them.

            Not that I’m agreeing with you here about “intrinsically disordered.” Au contraire. I’m just pointing out some of the legal precedents.

            Gosh this is fun. I’m having fun, are you having fun???

          • Paul

            Gov’t mandated abortion and birth control is neither marriage nor a civil right either.

          • sei2011 .

            What the heck is “government mandated abortion”?? I am unfamiliar with this beast.

          • sei2011 .

            I do mind.

            And what exactly does the fact that you personally mind have to do with anything anyway?

            Explain to me how two people who love each other being allowed to marry infringes on your rights to such an extent that you think that you should be able to say that they can’t.

            Explain to me how this works, that your personal squick overrules their fundamental rights.

          • Paul

            “Love” being another of your non-sequiturs, disordered sexual impulse and behavior is neither marriage nor a civil right. Again, you’re free to disagree but you certainly won’t overrule nor silence me. The Obergefell opinion is judicially unenforceable and invalid.

          • sei2011 .

            Pfffttttt. Screech all you want. It’s the law of the land, and so it will remain.

            I personally know of several lovely couples now happily married. It takes a special kind of moral sickness to think that is a bad thing.

          • sei2011 .

            Oh we are about to launch into a discussion of the difference between gayness and gay behavior now aren’t we.

          • sei2011 .

            In which case I will bring up Lawrence v. Texas. And you will opine again about judicial supremacy, whatever that means, and which as Donalbain pointed out, you seem to have a problem with only when it goes against your precious beliefs but not when it sides with them.

            Seriously, this is boring.

    • sei2011 .

      Because gay marriage is just like slavery. Christians are literally enslaved by all those gays and their gay marriages. Shackled, dragged back in chains to their gay masters, to work the fields of the gay plantations, to see their women debased and their children sold…

      It’s just awful.

      • Paul

        It is just awful. Your gay plantation imagery is quite apt. America is a constitutional republic not a homosexual terrorist oligarchy. The Obergefell opinion is judicially unenforceable and invalid.