Court: Texas owes $600,000 after losing gay-marriage case


Highlights

Texas ordered to pay just over $600,000 to lawyers who challenged same-sex marriage ban.

Appeals court upholds award over AG Ken Paxton’s objections.

The state of Texas must pay more than $600,000 in fees to lawyers for two same-sex couples who successfully challenged the state’s ban on gay marriage, a federal appeals court has ruled.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected arguments by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton that the charge — $585,470 in attorney fees and $20,203 in other costs — was excessive.

U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia of San Antonio, who originally approved the fees in 2015, “acted well within” his discretion in ordering the payments, a three-judge panel of the appeals court said Tuesday.

TEXAS POLITICS DELIVERED EVERY DAY: Sign up for our Texas Politics email

Paxton’s office is weighing options, spokesman Marc Rylander said. “We are disappointed in the ruling and are considering our next steps,” he said.

Lawyers for the two couples originally submitted a bill for $720,794 in attorney fees, saying the figure came at a substantial discount from rates they typically charge. But Garcia reduced the hourly rate he would pay for eight lawyers and two paralegals, cutting the fees to $585,470.

In a dissent accompanying the ruling, Justice Jennifer Walker Elrod said that while she agreed with “the bulk of the fee award,” the lawyers billed for items that she believed were not eligible for reimbursement — including work on an unsuccessful motion and time spent discussing the case with reporters.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Texas News & Politics

Community news: Free flu shots offered in Bastrop, Bee Cave

TRAVIS COUNTY SOUTHWEST AUSTIN Health clinic opens Baylor Scott & White Health announced the opening of its Baylor Scott & White Clinic – Austin Southwest, at 9521 U.S. 290, Suite 105, which opened its doors this week to serve Oak Hill and Dripping Springs residents. The 4,200-square-foot clinic provides services including family medicine, on-site...
Immigrant’s abortion case fosters lively court debate, no ruling yet
Immigrant’s abortion case fosters lively court debate, no ruling yet

The government’s interest in promoting childbirth over abortion allows federal officials to avoid any actions that would allow a 17-year-old immigrant, in federal custody in Texas after crossing the Mexico border illegally, to have an abortion, Trump administration lawyers told a federal appeals court Friday. “The government is refusing...
4 soldiers killed in ambush: Where is Niger and what are U.S. troops doing there?
4 soldiers killed in ambush: Where is Niger and what are U.S. troops doing there?

Questions remain in the aftermath of an ambush attack on a group including U.S. Army soldiers in Niger that left four American service members dead on Oct. 4. Defense Department officials said Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, 35, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson, 39, Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright, 29 and Sgt. La David Johnson, 25, were killed in an attack during an advise-and-assist...
Why are more black women dying of breast cancer compared to white women?
Why are more black women dying of breast cancer compared to white women?

According to Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, black women under 60 years old are more likely to die from breast cancer than white women in the same age group. In fact, data from 2015 showed black women had a 39 percent higher breast cancer death rate. New research from Emory University, the American Cancer Society...
Texas State president condemns white supremacist fliers found on campus 
Texas State president condemns white supremacist fliers found on campus 

Texas State University officials said white supremacist fliers had been posted on some of the buildings on campus and that university police were investigating the matter. University President Denise Trauth issued a statement Friday, condemning the fliers and telling students that “there is no place for hate at our university.” RELATED...
More Stories