Step one: convince small Kentucky counties to be test cases for posting the Ten Commandments in courthouses
Step two: lose and get the counties assessed court fees in excess of $450,000
Step three: watch counties be unable to pay the bill
Obviously, the executives of the counties themselves should take a fair amount of blame here. If you run a small Kentucky county with a limited budget, and you know you’re on the losing side, don’t keep breaking the law. That said, Liberty Counsel, “the Christian legal group” founded by Jerry Falwell that represented the counties, was also pretty feckless. These guys offered pro bonorepresentation, knowing that they would lose big. (Remember Roy Moore?) The group will also almost certainly fundraise off of its efforts in cases like this one. (My favorite quote from the article: “Many people who supported the fight to post the Ten Commandments wouldn’t want to donate money that would go to the ACLU, Staver said.” Solution? Don’t post the Ten Commandments and get sued!)
I don’t know the details, of course. Maybe Liberty tried hard to convince the counties not to try the suit a second time; maybe they were making sure that the counties had enough financial support to pay the court costs.
But maybe Liberty Counsel’s lawyers were too invested in their Christianist ideological agenda to think about what was actually best for their clients.