The state will pay just over $78,000 in total to cover the legal fees for Hart and the ACLU of South Dakota, which called the settlement a victory for free speech when it was announced earlier this month.
The document ordering the payment was signed by U.S. District Judge Roberto Lange on Tuesday [John Hult, “State, Minnehaha County Agree to Pay Legal Fees After Separate First Amendment Lawsuit Losses,” South Dakota Searchlight, 2023.12.27].
Embarrassing election-denying auditor Leah Anderson also cost her county a five-figure lawyer bill when she tried to help her radical anti-abortionist friends by banning Roe v. Wade petition circulators from most of the courthouse grounds in Sioux Falls:
On Tuesday, the Minnehaha County Commission voted to authorize the county to pay about $54,800 to Dakotans for Health to cover that organization’s legal fees [Hult, 2023.12.27].
You know, if you Republican honchos took the First Amendment as seriously as you take the Second, you wouldn’t find yourselves in such costly messes. Speech is more sacred (and useful and necessary to democracy) than all your little bang-bangs.