Idaho to Use Defense Fund to Cover $70,000 in Legal Fees
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho's top elected officials have approved using the state's Constitutional Defense Fund to pay $70,000 in legal fees to the U.S. Navy Veteran who successfully fought for permission to be buried with the ashes of her late wife in a state veterans cemetery.
Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter, Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill, and Attorney General Lawrence Wasden unanimously voted Wednesday to use the fund to cover the costs. The fund's balance is now roughly $320,000. Madelynn Taylor had previously been denied having her ashes interred with Jean Mixner because of Idaho's ban on same-sex marriage.
However, the ban was lifted Oct. 15 after courts determined it was unconstitutional. A federal court later granted a permanent injunction barring the state from ever preventing the two from being interred together. The Constitutional Defense Fund was created in 1995 to defend the state's legal rights against the federal government.