From Dara Kam at The News Service of Florida:
Florida taxpayers are on the hook for almost $500,000 in fees to lawyers who successfully challenged the state's prohibition against same-sex marriage.
Attorney General Pam Bondi, who initially balked at paying the legal fees, has agreed to pay $280,000 to Jacksonville lawyers William Sheppard, Betsy White and Sam Jacobson, who represented two same-sex couples, according to documents filed in federal court on Wednesday.
Bondi's office last month agreed to pay $213,000 to the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, which represented eight same-sex couples who were married in other states.
The settlements came after U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle ruled in April that the lawyers in the consolidated cases were entitled to the fees, and nearly two years after Hinkle first ruled that Florida's voter-approved same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional.
Hinkle put a stay on his August 2014 constitutional decision until January 2015, when same-sex marriages began in Florida.
A battle over the legal fees began last summer, after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have a fundamental right to marry. The Supreme Court ruling came in a case involving other states, but it cemented Hinkle's ruling that Florida's ban was unconstitutional.