WASHINGTON (AP) – Shelby County, Alabama, which won a major civil rights case in the Supreme Court, tried to get the loser in the lawsuit, the U.S. government, to pay $2 million in attorneys’ fees.
A year ago, a deeply divided Supreme Court ruled in Shelby County’s favor by throwing out the most powerful part of the landmark Voting Rights Act, stripping the federal government of its most potent tool to stop voting bias.
On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge John Bates said Shelby County would have been entitled to fees only if its opponent’s position had been frivolous, unreasonable or without foundation. Bates said that since Shelby County cannot make that showing, the county and its attorneys, not the American taxpayer, must foot the bill.
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