The school district that knowingly attempted to defy the constitution is being asked to pay the ACLU $173,000 in legal fees. And this is after the ACLU decided to give deep discounts:
The Rhode Island Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, which won a lawsuit against the Cranston School District for a religious display at Cranston High School West, filed a request for repayment of attorney’s fees in the amount of $173,000 in U.S. District Court today.
In a release, Steve Brown, executive director of the RIACLU, said the amount includes major discounts for hours of work by volunteer attorneys Lynette Labinger and Thomas Bender. He also said the amount is mindful of the school district’s budget woes in recent years.
“In terms of its complexity, the ACLU noted that the school district initially raised ten affirmative defenses when it filed its answer to the lawsuit. The amount sought by the ACLU attorneys pales in comparison to the attorneys’ fees that lawyers working with the Becket Fund, the national group that assisted the school district in defending the case, obtained in a church-state lawsuit two years ago. In that case from Colorado, dealing with a church zoning dispute, attorneys working with the Becket Fund were awarded over $1.25 million in attorneys’ fees for their work handling the case in the district court.”
This is what these people get. If they really didn’t think they were going to lose this lawsuit, they had to at least know there was a possibility they would have to pay attorney fees. And for what? An old prayer banner? They should have just taken it down when it was brought to their attention. Hell, they could have even taken it down months after they were made aware of its problems:
“In fact, in an attempt to avoid the costs of litigation and spare the taxpayers, we waited eight months before filing suit in the hope that this matter could be informally resolve,” [Brown said].
Part of me is glad the school district has this bill. It would be ideal if they could spend the money in more fruitful ways, but they brought this on themselves. It isn’t what the students should get, but it is what the administrators deserve.