With no discussion but partial dissent, the four-man panel that oversees disbursements from Idaho’s state’s rights protection fund today approved $456,663 in fees and court costs related to the state’s ongoing litigation over gay marriage.
The Constitutional Defense Council, comprising Gov. Butch Otter, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, House Speaker Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, and Senate Pro Tem Brent Hill, R-Rexburg, voted unanimously to pay the $401,663 attorneys fee for plaintiffs who successfully challenged the state’s gay marriage ban.
Wasden cast the only no vote on paying the $55,000 bill for outside attorneys who are handling the governor’s appeals in that case and related litigation.
“My view on the use of outside counsel is no secret," Wasden said in a statement. "I’ve maintained a long, consistent and principled position that hiring outside attorneys and paying the high price for that work is unnecessary.”
The fees will be paid from a special fund set up to cover costs arising from challenges to the state constitution.