Kim Davis, who answers to a Higher Authority than the law, faces contempt of court charges [now Jailed]

September 3, 2015 • 2:45 pm

UPDATE:  Reader James B. informs me, and this is verified by the New York Times, that Kim Davis has been sent to jail.

At the hearing, Judge Bunning told Ms. Davis, who is an elected official, that she would be released once she agreed to comply with his order and issue the marriage licenses.

“The court cannot condone the willful disobedience of its lawfully issued order,” said Judge Bunning, who was appointed by President George W. Bush. “If you give people the opportunity to choose which orders they follow, that’s what potentially causes problems.”

. . . The White House press secretary, Josh Earnest, said he had not discussed the developments with President Obama. But he said Ms. Davis should not defy the Supreme Court.

“Every public official is subject to the rule of law,” Mr. Earnest said. “No one is above the law. That applies to the president of the United States and it applies to the clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky, as well.”

How delicious: a George W. Bush appointee enforces the law against a Christian. While I have a bit of Schandefreude toward Davis, my main feelings are happiness for the gay couples of Rowan County, Kentucky.

__________

Two days ago I wrote about Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who refuses to issue marriage licenses for gay marriages, claiming (as a member of the Christian Apostolic Church) that she’s answering to God’s authority rather than the government. And this is despite a Supreme Court order that she must issue those licenses.  As I said at the time, she should be fired, though as an elected official this would be hard. Too, the sympathies of the locals are with her, as I saw on the news this morning.

Well, as NBC News reports, Davis will be in court today to face contempt charges, charges that could land her in jail and face a hefty fine.  The arguments of her defenders are unconvincing:

Lawyers for Davis said in court filings late Wednesday that she should not be held in contempt for disobeying the judge’s August order, because she cannot obey it.

“Davis is unable to comply with the order,” her lawyers say, “because it irreparably and irreversibly violates her conscience.” They cite federal court decisions, including a U.S. Supreme Court case, holding that someone cannot be held in contempt when complying with an order is factually impossible.

But complying with that order is not factually impossible—she just doesn’t want to because it conflicts with her religious belief (as do her four marriages, since divorce is against the tenets of her own church).  And court rulings have shown that her type of refusal violates the law:

But the U.S. Supreme Court has held that while public employees have the right to speak out on matter of public concern, just as any citizen would, their First Amendment rights concerning their jobs are different.

“When a citizen enters government service, the citizen by necessity must accept certain limitations on his or her freedom,” the court said in a 2006 decision involving a prosecutor’s comments about the work of his colleagues.

Though that decision involved the First Amendment’s protection of free expression, legal experts say the same principle limits the freedom of religion of public employees.

“She waived any right to have an objection to issuing same-sex marriage licenses when she ran for the job,” said Prof. Steve Vladeck of American University’s Washington College of Law.

Adds Prof. Jonathan Adler of Case Western University School of Law, “Insofar as the state’s definition of an acceptable marriage differs from her own, Davis is obligated to follow the state’s rule so long as she maintains her current office.”

If Davis is exculpated by the court today, and returns to work, it will be a blot on the state of Kentucky—a tacit admission that “God’s law” (whatever that is) is higher than humans’.

Finally, Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has shamed himself by supporting Davis. According to the Washington Post, he stands behind her:

“I spoke with Kim Davis this morning to offer my prayers and support.  I let her know how proud I am of her for not abandoning her religious convictions and standing strong for religious liberty. She is showing more courage and humility than just about any federal office holder in Washington,” Huckabee said in a statement.

Seriously, how can anyone—even Republicans—vote for a man who thinks that it’s okay to flout the Constitution and federal law in favor of “God’s law”.  What a mess that view would produce!

150901-kim-davis-9a_3be9e557837d64fb59c691663cbee31c.nbcnews-ux-2880-1000
Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, right, talks with David Moore following her office’s refusal to issue marriage licenses at the Rowan County Courthouse in Morehead, Ky., Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015. Although her appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court was denied, Davis still refuses to issue marriage licenses. Timothy D. Easley / AP

163 thoughts on “Kim Davis, who answers to a Higher Authority than the law, faces contempt of court charges [now Jailed]

      1. The law is such that, as an elected official, she can not be fired. She can be impeached by the state legislature but given the support she has it might not be successful. The bar is high for impeachment. I don’t know what the percentage to carry an impeachment is in the state of Kentucky but it is not a simple majority.

        For example, to impeach a US president a simple majority of the House is necessary to bring charges, then the Senate would have an impeachment trial. A 2/3 majority in the Senate is required to carry the impeachment.

        Besides that, impeachment would take a long time during which this clerk would likely still be working and breaking the law.

        Given the laws we have putting her in jail is the best course of action. Remove her ability to continue interfering with other peoples lives in an illegal way. Her behavior merits no respect.

        1. I wondered too why she couldn’t just be fired. However I might disagree with her, jail just seems to harsh of a punishment.

          But now I understand.

          Thanks for the clarification! 🙂

          1. To try and clarify a bit more, this woman wasn’t jailed because she had repeatedly broken the new marriage laws. She was jailed for “contempt of court.”

            A court, a judge, had issued her an order to stop breaking the law, and she didn’t comply with the order. She then was ordered to appear in court at which time the judge gave her another opportunity to comply with his order, even though she was already guilty of “contempt of court” (i.e. disobeying a court order). She refused the opportunity to avoid the contempt of court charge. So the judge put her in jail for contempt of court, which is standard procedure. As is also standard procedure in contempt of court cases, she can get out of jail anytime she wants simply by agreeing to comply with the court order.

    1. Same here. Diana McPherson shared this on Facebook: http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/u-s-county-clerk-kim-davis-jailed-for-contempt-over-same-sex-marriage-licences-1.3214735

      According to the article there were signs supporting Davis that said things like “Turn to Jesus or Burn” and there was even a plane flying overhead with a banner “Stand Firm Kim.”

      There was a ghastly woman (Dana Loesch I think is her name) on Fox last night saying the complainants should just drive to another county to get their licence and stop picking on this poor woman.

          1. This is the same Josh Feurstein who raised $20,000 to buy a professional camera: https://www.facebook.com/joshua.feuerstein.5/posts/517733334996020. Funny that he is still using a crappy smartphone camera to record his videos. Hemant Mehta posted on this a while ago ; apparently Josh acquired some rather nice jewellery just after the target was raised. Hmmmm…. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2015/04/27/wheres-the-camera-you-promised-to-buy/ .
            The guy is a complete joke. And why does he have to SHOUT all the time?

            1. “And why does he have to SHOUT all the time?”

              Perhaps he’s watched too many Amuricun car ads on TV. And not a few other types of ads. And probably watches and hears sports fan behavior. And the local news is louder – and breathless. And mebbe has watched Trump yelling, “You’re fired!”, and perhaps also has watched Gordon Ramsey gentile behavior.

          2. Wow, I think we need a new word to describe what these people do…hyperbole doesn’t cut it. This “assault on Christians” really has them all in a twist lately. One of my FB friends posted an absurd status about the country going down the drain because a movie like Straight Outta Compton is being praised while a great feel-good movie like War Room is being bashed. If you’re not familiar with this latest piece of excrement from the Christian film industry, it’s a movie about a woman with an abusive husband who befriends an older religious woman and they set up a war room to fight Satan. This power of prayer reunites the couple, naturally with an underlying message about traditional marriage. This FB friend of mine is a public school educator; it’s scary that these people have an influence on our children here.

    1. True enough, but there’s always Matthew 5:17-18 to pull out to say that the Old Testament rules are still valid, at least, those that Jesus didn’t break, or the ones that bigots still want enforced. But I’m not really super worried about figuring out the wishes of a largely (perhaps entirely) mythical character.

  1. I think it is important to note this not an enforcement action for against a religion. This is simply the same as issuing a ticket for speeding. everybody has to obey the law and some have to be “urged” to obey.

    Hopefully there will be a fine and someone will file a law suit.

    1. Next time I get pulled over for speeding, I’m telling the officer it was impossible not to be speeding at the moment that he caught me, for it would have required infinite deceleration to avoid it. 😉

        1. I’d love to use that argument.

          Unfortunately, the speed limit seems to be unbreakable. No matter how often I break it, it just won’t stay broken. Not even slightly bent. 🙁

          cr

    1. Given that she no doubt took her oath of office with a “so help me God,” she’s also breaking her vow to God.

      Supporters are comparing this woman to Rosa Parks. No, she is the bus driver who refuses to drive the bus because of Rosa Parks. Just because you’re “staying true to your principles” doesn’t make you some kind of hero. Your principles may suck, for one thing.

      1. Yes where the bus driver may or may not have been a bigot, he was at least participating in a bigoted system. Here she is even worse because she is flaunting her bigotry and justifying it as religious freedom.

      2. Hmmm. Is this what Bob Dylan meant by the line “No martyr is among ye now whom you can call your own” is his song I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine??

    2. Yes…and Jesus said absolutely nothing about homosexuality, but he DID say a lot about divorce. According to Jesus, this woman is a triple-adulteress. She’s going to hell for sure.

      1. Meh. You’re forgetting the Christian get-out-of-jail-free card. She claims she repented of all of that and really became a Christian 4 years ago, after all the sordid stuff, and that now she is firmly on God’s side. Standard Christian fare: I was a sinner, yesterday, but today I’m not… so now I stand in judgment over all the other sinners.

        Of course, to be fair, there is something different between committing a sin and condoning a sin, which is part of her claim.

        It’ll be interesting to see how long it takes her to relinquish her love of job or God in jail (and interesting to see which it is…).

        1. And there is also a difference between certifying, as an elected official, that two people meet the legal requirements for marriage and approving of the marriage personally. I hope the oatmeal is as good as in the Cook County slammer.

        2. the problem, though, is that jesus states that since she has remarried after divorce she is in a perpetual state of adultery, so she is continuing to sin.

          what she needs to do is to divorce her present husband and live in a state of chastity.

          1. That is what her religion says she should do, whether or not it’s only four years since she joined the Apostolic Church.

      2. She has an ‘out’. One news item had her converting to her current brand of Xian after her last divorce. But with her gallant attitude how long do you think the current hubby will last?

    3. To be fair, I read that she became a xtian after her fourth marriage. Curiously though, “She gave birth to twins five months after divorcing her first husband. They were fathered by her third husband but adopted by her second.” She admits she doesn’t have a blameless past.

      Still, I think the penalty was probably appropriate since she seems to have plenty of financial backers who would have facilitated her defying the courts. The length of time she spends in prison is her own choice.

  2. She only “got religion” in 2011: “I did a lot of vile and wicked things in my past,” Davis said when asked about her life before becoming a Christian in 2011.” Perhaps there is an element of “reformed smoker” going on.

    I thought Jonathan Adler (WaPo) had a good analogy: “Think of it this way. Someone who objects to war due to his religious conscience has a right to be a conscientious objector and not serve in the military, even were there to be a draft. But he does not have the right to serve as a military officer, draw a paycheck from the military and then substitute his own personal views of when war is justified for that of the government. The same applies here.”

    1. There’s an even better analogy. Imagine an observant Jew denying a licence to Burger King because they serve bacon cheeseburgers.
      She has no case at all, which is why every court has rejected her, and denied to hear an appeal.

    2. The clerk should walk her talk and resign.

      Unlike this civilian clerk, a military officer cannot so easily resign, whatever the reason, in peacetime. Certainly not in time of war.

      Was Mr. Adler in the military? I assume he was against the Iraq adventure. Would he lecture a military service member to go in harm’s way even though the both of them were of the same opinion regarding Iraq? I gather that he supports maintaining a military, and that he expects SOMEBODY to join the military.

      What with the spectre of the draft no long so overshadowing, I assume Mr. Adler is glad that he himself does not have to jump through the hoops of qualifying for conscientious objector status.

  3. Let’s just keep in mind that 19 men who also felt they were holding God’s law above secular law flew planes into buildings on 9/11. According to Mike Huckabee’s logic, this should be deemed permissible. The fact this this idea falls apart under even the mildest scrutiny and yet is held by millions of Americans is deeply disconcerting, especially when it is considered that there probably aren’t two people among them who agree on every point on what God’s law actually is.

    1. If “God’s law” is above the laws of the United States, then all Davis has to do to avoid paying any taxes is declare herself a citizen of the Kingdom of God!

      Gee, I think that’s been tried. It doesn’t work either.

      Davis needs to resign. She can probably make up any financial hardship from that by going around the Christian rubber chicken circuit and soliciting funds for her “fight for Jesus and freedom” or whatever. They’re apparently all happy to confuse bravery with making a consumate ass of oneself.

      1. “Gee, I think that’s been tried. It doesn’t work either.”

        Yeah, that only works for businesses (aka churches), not individuals.

      2. Don’t forget, she could become a “consultant” on Faux, thus guaranteeing an income while she runs for…dogcatcher.

  4. “They’re taking rights away from Christians,” Danny Kinder, a 73-year-old retiree from Morehead, said of the courts. “They’ve overstepped their bounds.”

    …the rights Christians are being deprived of, of course, are the rights to deny other people their own rights.

    Christianity is evil, rotten to the core. It is your right to believe in it, but it is frequently not your right to act upon it — any more than it is the right of Klansmen to act upon the belief that Africans are mud people or Nazis to act upon the belief that Jews are Christ killers.

    And, yes. It’s high past time that claiming pride in Christianity should earn the same sort of visceral reaction of contempt as claiming pride in any other cult of bigotry.

    b&

    1. Seems like the Christian Persecution Complex has festered up again as an oozing wound.
      This is nothing more than self loathing.

    2. For every Christian that applauds Davis there is probably an opposite and equal Christian who thinks she’s standing against God on this issue. Gay marriage has divine approval! Separation of church & state is the Christian thing to do! And so forth.

      That doesn’t necessarily make Christianity less “evil” — it just highlights the evils of faith.

      1. Oh, to be sure — but there were also Germans in the ’30s who were members of the Nazi party who would have favored social support for the misfortunate Jews and been aghast at the horror of the Final Solution.

        The problem isn’t with the people who wear the Christian Cross, any more than the problem almost a century ago was with the people who wore the Swastika.

        The problem is with the fundamental principles themselves.

        Never mind that some of Jesus’s deepities seem superficially pleasant when taken out of context, or that some Christians have grafted Enlightenment values onto Christianity with the leverage of those same deepities.

        The whole reason Christians are called upon to do what is claimed to be good is because they’ve been ordered to do so by a supreme unquestionable authority…and that same authority will, any day now, return to kill and then infinitely torture all who dare question his authority. That’s right there in Davis’s own words on this; she can’t comply with the law of the land because she’s following Jesus’s orders instead. And why is she following Jesus’s orders? Obviously, because she prefers Heaven to Hell.

        All Christians hold that one is to be admired for following in Jesus’s footsteps. And that’s why Christianity is so profoundly evil.

        b&

        1. I agree in general, though I’ll point out that apparently Hell and damnation are not core beliefs of Christianity. Christians influenced by the Enlightenment of course deny that they ever were, because God is and always was a humanist and sadly misquoted in the Bible.

          The calvinball aspect of faith means that it’s no more possible to definitively refute this than to refute Christian soldiers meting out hellfire and brimstone on earth, if we’re battling theology vs. theology. Faith itself is toxic.

          1. I agree in general, though I’ll point out that apparently Hell and damnation are not core beliefs of Christianity. Christians influenced by the Enlightenment of course deny that they ever were, because God is and always was a humanist and sadly misquoted in the Bible.

            While I would of course prefer that people reject than embrace Hell, rejection does little to make Christianity any less problematic. You’ve got Jesus right there in his most famous speech in his authorized biography ranting and raving about Hell…as, indeed, he does practically every time he opens his mouth.

            If you’re going to reject the doctrine of Hell but retain something of Christianity…well, you’re now now only moored from reality but from fantasy as well. You’re being profoundly dishonest on every possible level, even if you’re being somehow gently sincere in your dishonesty. But the result is Orwellian in the extreme, and not at all trustworthy nor admirable…

            …and, indeed, when pressed, it almost invariably turns out that those who reject Hell actually don’t, and simply are offering up rhetorical bafflegab in order to sugar-coat the same message as all other Christians have on offer. Hell might not be demons shoving red-hot pokers up the asses of the damned for all eternity…but it’s instead an eternity in solitary confinement, with no hope for release. Forever. While everybody else gets to party hearty. And damnation is only for those who reject Jesus…but, inevitably, the set of those who accept Jesus always winds up being congruent with those who agree with the sect enough to join it outright.

            So, no. I don’t give Christians, even fluffy bunny Anglican Christians, a pass. Drop the Jesus the same way you’d drop the Hitler, even the baby-kissing powerful orator family values Hitler, and we’ll talk.

            b&

    3. …the rights Christians are being deprived of, of course, are the rights to deny other people their own rights.

      Ah, truly America lives down to the standards of it’s Puritan founders.
      Who, you’ll remember, left Britain voluntarily because they objected to not being allowed to persecute other Christian groups.

        1. With a good PR department, you can hide almost anything. The PR departments of religions have included such masters of the art as Machiavelli.
          Isn’t Machiavelli terribly reviled, and so a failure as a PR flack? Well, can you name the Prince for whom Machiavelli wrote his manual?
          Nope? Machiavelli was a top-notch PR flack, who deflected the bullets of history from his Prince.

        2. Why? The exact same percentages don’t realize that they themselves are objecting to not being allowed to persecute other Christians today. Even if you told them of the history, they wouldn’t recognize it as being anything remarkable. They don’t “get” it.

          b&

    1. DINO!

      Democrats are not monolithicly in support of SSM, of course, but how many Democrats support her? And how many Republicans?

  5. The jailing brought a smile to my face too.
    It’s overall a sad situation, but one positive result is that it is a wonderful learning experience for people who didn’t fully appreciate the importance of living in a society of laws. Specifically the idea that an elected official must work within the limits of the law regardless of motivation.

  6. I was looking for updated info and was able to find it at an Alabama website called AL.com. Not sure how reliable their info is, but it is remarkably detailed. The topic now is which deputy clerks will be issuing licenses. Davis’s son is the last holdout.

    1. It’s a nice misspelling though. “Schande” means shame or disgrace in German. So instead of joy about someone’s harm, Schandefreude would literally mean joy about someone’s disgrace. Quite fitting.

  7. I heard some commentary (which I haven’t confirmed) that the judge knew this lady had a lot of financial support from the bigoted zealots, so he figured fining her wouldn’t be a hardship. Therefore he held her in contempt and sent her to jail which (like murder) is a sentence without bail.

    So good on the judge if true. And resign or get fired she must.

  8. Way better than the fines, because that’s nothing gofundme.com and thousands of bigots couldn’t over-solve for her.

    1. Someone over at Ed Brayton’s blog suggested that the judge could impose a cumulative fine and rule that all the money go to the gay couples to whom she refused to give licenses. That prospect might have dampened the funding enthusiasm considerably.

      “Stay in there another day, Kim! They almost have a vacation home!”

  9. This is from the Chicago Tribune:

    The judge later sought a resolution to keep Davis out of jail after all. He overruled an objection from her lawyer, who argued that her six deputy clerks cannot act against her authority. And he called each one before him to declare whether they intend to follow the law. All but the clerk’s son, Nathan Davis, promised to comply.

    The judge said Nathan Davis’ position wouldn’t matter, and that his mother could go free as long as she promised not to interfere with issuing of marriage licenses to all couples. But Kim Davis rejected the offer, her attorneys later said.

    With that, the hearing ended, and the saga was sure to continue Friday, as gay and lesbian couples vowed to return to the Rowan County clerk’s office yet again in hopes that the deputy clerks would keep their promises.

    Bunning said it would set up a “slippery slope” to allow an individual’s ideas to supersede the courts’ authority.

    “Her good faith belief is simply not a viable defense,” Bunning said. “I myself have genuinely held religious beliefs … but I took an oath.”

    “Mrs. Davis took an oath,” he added. “Oaths mean things.”

    ——————————

    There are several things to note from this report:

    1. Judge David Bunning offered Davis a get out of jail card for free. She refused. This means she is relishing playing the martyr.

    2. David Bunning is the son of Jim Bunning, former baseball player and arch-conservative senator from Kentucky. Since he was appointed by George W. Bush, David Bunning seems hardly like the liberal that people like Mike Huckabee continually accuse of “judicial tyranny.”

    3. Judge Bunning clearly realizes the slippery slope. People cannot fail to honor their oaths of office as public officials by claiming religious conscience. Only chaos would result.

    Judge Bunning did the right thing. We can now enjoy the religious right moaning and groaning about the “war on religion.” America is becoming more and more secular. The religious right’s attempt to foist their morals on everybody else is losing. And that is a very good thing for the country and the rule of law.

    1. David Bunning has probably been a disappointment to both his father and Bush. In a ruling in 2007 he overturned a partial-birth abortion ban, and in 2003 he ruled to allow a Gay-Straight Alliance to meet on their high school campus.

      1. It seems to me that David Bunning sticks to the law in his rulings and doesn’t allow his personal feelings to interfere. That is what judges are supposed to be like imo.

        In most countries, most people would struggle to name the judges on their Supreme Court. I don’t know the names of ours (NZ), but I know a lot about the US ones. The reason is that they often make their decisions based on their politics and personal beliefs rather than the law.

  10. If she ends up in jail, i would throw the keys away, but only after i threw huckabee in there with her. They deserve each other!!

  11. I’m slightly ashamed by the sense of satisfaction that I derive from her jailing. I wonder if this is the same thing Christians feel at the thought of our roasting in Hell for eternity?

    1. That’s a key difference between our side and their side. We didn’t want her to go to jail; we wanted her to do her job and issue licenses. We are not happy, but satisfied. Think about how it would be if the positions were reversed. They would be crowing if one of us landed in jail.

      1. NO. You’ve got it wrong. They don’t want you to go to hell; they want you to accept Jesus as your saviour so you WON’T go to hell for being the bad people you are (Yeah right)!

        Bonus for you — you can keep being bad and have a salvation moment a nano-second before your soul goes up or down, and you win. It’s a win-win for everyone (snark).

  12. pity that she’s not following her god either. Amazing on how she has managed to ignore her bible for everything *except* hating on homosexuals. As I’ve said, this nasty creature’s claim of how its a heaven and hell question has all ready been determined. She’s going to hell if her version of Christianity is true. Lucky for her that’s all bullshit.

    1. Amazing on how she has managed to ignore her bible for everything *except* hating on homosexuals.

      Perzackly. Does *anyone* think she would have denied marriage licenses to a known adulterer? To a convicted thief? To some guy who came in to the office wearing a shirt with two mixed types of fabric? To a hindu polytheist? If you’re like me, I suspect your answers to those questions are no, no, no, and no, respectively.

      1. I wonder if she issued her second, third and fourth marriage licenses to herself. She knew she was an adulterer….

    1. I guess I’m dense at 4:30 in the morning, and need to refill my coffee “mug.” I see a photo of a human being. Could you humor me and say a little more?

  13. “Seriously, how can anyone—even Republicans—vote for a man who thinks that it’s okay to flout the Constitution and federal law in favor of “God’s law”. What a mess that view would produce!”

    A fantasy that I have is to be able to transport people to the world they would create if their wishes were put into practice. A Twilight Zone sort of thing. I don’t think many would be happy with the result.

    1. I have a more achievable fantasy. During the Republican debates, the following question is put to the candidates: If, as president, you had to choose between enforcing the laws of the United States of America and enforcing God’s laws, which would you choose? If the answer is God’s laws, then we would know that he or she would be lying when taking the oath of office.

      1. Unfortunately, phrasing it that way implies that there is such a thing as God’s law. Operating from that assumption, pretty much any candidate would be compelled to favor God’s law over man’s law.

        You’d have to ask something like ‘Would you favor enforcing a random religious group’s interpretation of God’s law over the laws created by the Constitutionally empowered legislative branch of the United States?’

        1. What it boils down to, for me, is this: if you are willing to act in a way that subordinates US law to (your, or anybody’s, idea of) God’s law, then you are unfit to hold office.

          1. If there actually were a God and a clear God’s law, then it’s quite reasonable that US law should be subordinated to it. Anyone who thought differently would be unfit for office, IMO.

            But we don’t live in that universe.

            1. Huckabee has already said in another context that God’s Law is superior. I know because I wrote about it. The trouble is, I’m having trouble recalling the details, so I can’t tell you what they were.

              I will update this comment if I remember!

          2. Well, the clerk and her supporters need to understand that, in order to get their way, they need follow the tried-and-true example of the 1% Masters of Mankind and contribute a lot of money to officials'(re-)election campaigns so as to change the law.

    1. I don’t agree with this. Perhaps she does relish the idea of being a martyr, but so what? She’s not Rosa Parks, she’s on the WRONG side of history. It’s not as thought her “martyrdom” is going to win over any hearts and minds to her cause. She will be remembered (if at all) as a bigot who got sent to jail, not as a heroic martyr.

      She needs to be punished, and a fully paid home vacation does not seem like punishment to me. Being jailed for her contempt seems much more appropriate. I like the fact that she’s on an indeterminate sentence, with her freedom in her own hands. If she wants to persist with her obstinacy, presumably she’ll be in jail until the next election. Perhaps longer if she’s reelected. If that’s her choice, then let her rot.

        1. I’m not surprised he’s against her – in most areas he’s fairly reasonable. He’s also mostly failing to register in the GOP primaries, so that attitude is clearly not helping! 🙂

      1. She is a martyr in her mind and she will have her fan club – she is not trying to win over anyone – they are only concerned to preaching to the choir and areadly converted.

        1. The problem I see with her on house arrest is she would hold court and give interviews, and encourage the victim/persecution thing. In jail, she’s out of public view.

          Also, I don’t think house arrest would make her realize she’s in the wrong. It would encourage her view that she’s standing up for what’s right. At the moment, I don’t think she has any understanding of the situation. Some of the analogies people have outlined above need to be given to her.

          1. religion is a mental health issue and maybe she will be deemed the case that proves it – she was certainly an apparently competent person – and yet she is unable to cope with that other people exist, eh

            1. Yeah, religion is at least a mass delusion, and as you say, she has apparently been competent for years. Now something has come along to challenge her delusion.

              A lot of the people chiming in in support of her are conflating this with her right to free speech. They can’t get their heads around the fact that her rights to free speech aren’t being affected.

              The Christian majority often think the right to free speech means the right to force your opinions on others.

              From David Gibbs of the National Center for Life and Liberty: “Marriage has been redefined in America radically and now the question is will the religious rights, will the free speech rights of government employees, who don’t agree with what the Supreme Court did, will they be accommodated?” People like this (i.e. those in support of Davis) can’t even recognize what the problem is here.

              1. Yeah. Nice being the dominant culture and not having to consider what it’s like for others. Time she learned a bit of that Christian empathy we hear so much about.

              2. It is said that a reporter once asked Gandhi what he thought of western civilization. Gandhi replied “I think it would be a good idea”. I think Christian empathy would be a good idea.

      2. “I like the fact that she’s on an indeterminate sentence, with her freedom in her own hands.”

        Don’t the powers-that-be eventually have to charge her and try her in court? If it is truly an indeterminate sentence, couldn’t she be held for the rest of her life if she foolishly persists?

        1. She can appeal the contempt charge and the appeals court will then decide whether jailing her for contempt is appropriate or not. Jailing for contempt is fairly rare, so she may succeed in getting it overturned and converted into a fine. But if the appeals court decides that the judge used the minimum punishment necessary to compel her to obey the law, then the punishment will stand until she agrees to obey the law.

          But even in that case, she probably won’t sit in jail very long. The moment she is impeached from her position by the legislature or she looses the next election for county clerk, she’ll be released because at that point she is no longer in the position where she can break this law.

          1. A news report (ABC, I think) that I read said the limit is 18 months.

            I hope her salary isn’t being paid out — with taxpayer dollars — while she’s in jail.

            1. I don’t think there’re any hard-and-fast limits to contempt. And I’m sure that, if she were released and then continued to refuse to comply with the order, she’d be immediately jailed again. And probably slapped with some serious fines for good measure.

              b&

  14. Nice to see that Nepotism is alive and well in the old Kentucky court house. Her son is one of the deputy clerks…good grief.

      1. I think it’s called government by hillbilly.

        Seriously though, At the federal level this type of nepotism is an absolute no no. Apparently in Kentucky, just another day in the park. Is Ran Paul reading any of this…

  15. Far be it from me to offend anybody with religious beliefs based on a mythical god and the teachings of a failed apocalyptic Jewish preacher but this whole affair seems to me to be based on arrogance and stupidity. Why is this woman so arrogant that she believes she is above the law of the land? Is this woman so stupid that she has based her life’s value system on commandments issued by an ancient mythical supernatural character ‘born’ in the stone age?

    1. Why is this woman so arrogant that she believes she is above the law of the land?

      You need to understand the true nature of the gods — what they’ve always been since their invention.

      And that is the ultimate device for rhetorical amplification.

      If you can convince others that you speak for the gods…well, that’s it. Who dares to challenge the gods?

      So, of course, by definition, all those who would speak for the gods demonstrate the ultimate arrogance conceivable.

      It’s also worth noting that no believer ever disagrees with their own gods. How could you? But it also demonstrates that the gods are inventions of the minds of the believers. The agreement is always between the believer and the believer’s understanding of the gods, never between believers or between gods. And when the believer has a change of heart, so do the gods.

      Anytime you hear somebody like Davis say, “God wants,” you know she’s just saying, “I want,” and is too much of a coward to defend her wishes on their own merits.

      b&

  16. Huckabee’s comment is indistinguishable from that of an deluded child. It is comical to think that he actually wrote that message, thought about it and then sent it off knowing what it implies.

    1. From my own raising, I’ve observed that there is no one more confident of the rectitude of his opinions than a conservative Southern Baptist.

    1. I was reflecting on the reply by Ralph under #25 — he said:

      “She will be remembered (if at all) as a bigot who got sent to jail”

      And while there’s sure to be impassioned speech and a lot of clawing and gnashing and anguish about Christians being rounded up and imprisoned, I have every reason to believe she will be remembered as THE bigot who got sent to jail over the same-sex marriage issue.

    2. There will be some, for sure. But so what? I don’t think that putting this homophobic bigot in jail is going to create hordes of new homophobic bigots. It will just mean that the existing ones whine a little louder.

      Jailing her for contempt is the fitting solution, because it puts her future entirely in her own hands. She has no possibility of bail and an indeterminate sentence. But it’s abundantly clear that she has not been jailed for her religious beliefs. She will be free in an hour if she either resigns or agrees to do her job without abusing her power as a government official by imposing her religious views on others.

      I think this jailing needed to happen, with the constitutional and legal process behind it analyzed thoroughly and publicly. We now have a clear and correct precedent for what should happen in this situation.

      1. She even has the perfect out. When she ran for election and swore her oath of office, it was to carry out the laws of the land. Nobody denies that the laws have changed since then, and she’s made it quite clear that her conscience won’t let her carry out the new laws. She certainly wouldn’t run today on a platform of enforcing the current laws.

        So the obvious answer is to resign.

        If she really feels that passionate about restoring the old laws, she can dedicate herself to getting a Constitutional amendment to that effect. Or, hell — she can go all-out and try for armed insurrection.

        But by remaining in contempt and refusing to resign…all she’s doing is demonstrate that she’s one especially stupid and short-sighted deluded idiot.

        With enemas like her, who needs fronds?

        b&

  17. It’s clear Kim Davis has no free will: she’s being manipulated by her legal counsel (who are working for free) — the onerous Matt Staver of the (even more) onerous Liberty Council.

  18. Not a lawyer but I’m curious what harm is befalling her because of doing her job? What are the economic and/or emotional damages?

    Presumably, if there is a logic to her worldview, the jail time could something she’d consider welcoming. Is it not a gift from Yahweh to suffer for his delight, ahem, Plan?

    So why isn’t she just enjoying her new life? I swear, believers make the worst disciples.

    Mike

  19. I am not a great fan of the play “Man for All Seasons” with its falsely romantic picture of Thomas More, but I like the line when someone says to More that a person should be arrested, and More says he has broken no law. His son in law replies “He’s breaking God’s law”. More retorts “Then God can arrest him”

  20. Our religious martyr plays “can you top this” with herself, and keeps winning. I see that my limerick from the previous post needs a new ending:

    A county Clerk in Kentucky
    Thought gay couples were yucky
    She took it to court
    The answer was short
    Go to jail, dumb-fucky!

  21. Davis was elected by the citizens of Rowan County to perform the duties allowed a clerk-of-court by the Commonwealth of Kentucky, which includes issuing marriage licenses to couples entitled to obtain them under Kentucky civil law.

    How does this not fall squarely on the “render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s” side of the dichotomy Jesus is reported to have set out in Matthew 22:21 and Mark 12:27?

    1. The fundagelicals will all be responding with Acts 5.29, their ultimate “I don’t care what the laws of your country say” retort to pretty much anything they don’t like.

  22. I would have been shocked had today’s proceedings turned out any different; there isn’t a federal judge sitting anywhere in this country who would have resolved the matter other than how Judge Bunning did.

    The federal courts jealously guard their own authority. Necessarily so — the courts control no military units; they have no enforcement arm. The only way they can compel obedience to their orders is through their civil contempt power (pursuant to which a contemnor is jailed not to punish, but solely to coerce compliance — the contemnor “has the keys to the cell in his own pocket,” as the saying goes, since he can gain release by obeying the court order). The moment a party to a federal court proceeding can disobey a direct court order with impunity is the moment the federal courts will stand naked with no power at all.

  23. What an odd behavior this seems to us overseas. We would simply hand out a disciplinary warning letter to this woman and if she’s still not willing to comply, she gets fired. I mean, dismissal protection and legal regulation aren’t normally of high priority in Your country, are they.
    Also, sending people to jail for that kind of delinquency, certainly doesn’t do any good to the already escalating incarceration costs. Might even be one of the main causes for it.

    So, does it have to do with the ridiculous “protection of religious freedom” ? Or is it indeed a common legal measure in such cases, religiously motivated or not ?

    1. I’m not from the U.S. but if you read all the comments here and other articles you will surmise that disobeying a direct court order will get you thrown in jail in the U.S. (and in this particular case it involves a direct order directed directly at this woman) That is what has happened here (at its root). I would bet your country has similar provisions in its court remedies.

      The nature of what promptrd the contempt of court charge is of secondary if any importance.

      1. That is how I understood it. Before the court order the needed solutions might have been to reassign her to a different job or to have her fired. But then it came to her defying the court order and that meant fines and/or prison.

    2. She can’t be fired because she’s an elected official. AIUI the two ways to remove her from office are impeachment by the legislature or losing the next election. If her job was not elected, yes she would probably have been fired by now.

      I agree with the jailing in this case, primarily because the judge has offered to release her if she allows her clerks to do their jobs. She wouldn’t have to sign any marriage licenses, she’d just have to allow them to do it. She refused that offer. Given that, it seems to me that keeping her out of the office is the only way to ensure the county clerk’s office performs its legal duties. She has basically told the court that if they release her, she will work to actively prevent the other civil servants in her office from doing their jobs. So right now the only way to ensure marriage licenses are issued to all legally allowed applicants is to prevent her from being there.

      1. Thank You all for the clarification.
        Eric, aren’t the other civil servants legally required to do their jobs anyway ? Or holds Davis some kind of ultimate authority over them ?

  24. Her lawyer claims that her specific issue is this: As county clerk, her name and a print of her signature will be on every marriage license issued while she holds office, no matter whether she’s the one to issue it or someone above or below her in the chain of command. That is why she ordered those below her not to issue licenses.

    My question: What if the “religious liberty” of those below her comes in conflict with HER order? Can’t they, then, simply disobey her and issue licenses?

    For now, the judge has threatened the six of them with jail time, too, if they don’t issue licenses, and five have agreed to do so. I guess the sixth has a sort of “get out of jail free” card, thanks to them.

  25. This just in…
    It seems the Kentucky Clerks office has just started issuing marriage licences again. A gay couple were able to get the licence this morning. I guess with Davis out of the office others on staff took up the slack.

    1. The local neighborhood crazy cat lady was about to feed her feral colony as I drove back from the walk in the park with Baihu this morning, so I pulled over and we chatted for a bit. She’s Davis’s age and a Republican, but that’s about all the two have in common.

      I’d say Davis looks more like the crazy Sunday School teacher who’ll beat Jesus into the kids until they know what’s good for them.

      b&

        1. I know there are at least crazy cat couples. I was in a grocery store line a while back with a man ( who said he had a wife) who was buying food for their 85 cats!!! He said of course they weren’t all indoor cats. Only 60 of them were😖

Leave a Reply