Kim Davis is Out of Jail

Kim Davis is Out of Jail September 8, 2015
Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Tori Rector https://www.flickr.com/photos/124387535@N03/
Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Tori Rector https://www.flickr.com/photos/124387535@N03/

There really ARE two kinds of people in the world: those who will go to jail rather than do what’s wrong and those who will send them there. Robert George, McCormick Professor, Princeton, Charman, US Commission on International Religious Freedom

Kim Davis has been released from jail. Judge David Bunning, who ordered Davis jailed in the first place, says that he is satisfied that her deputies have fulfilled their obligations to issue marriage licenses to gay marriages.

His order releasing Mrs Davis requires that she cannot interfere with her deputies issuing marriage licenses to “all legally eligible couples.” The implication is that if Mrs Davis does not perform her duties as a dully elected official to the judge’s liking, he will imprison her once again.

I am going to repeat something I said earlier: The judge is over-stepping his authority. Mrs Davis is an elected official and his purview does not extend to telling elected officials whether or not they are performing their duties in a satisfactory manner.

If an elected official does not perform their duties in a manner that the courts deem necessary, the courts have a certain latitude for redress, but this does not include summarily imprisoning the elected official. Perhaps the most clear-cut case of this in American history was when the Supreme Court ruled that the forced removal of the Cherokee Nation from their hereditary lands to Indian Territory (what is now the State of Oklahoma) was unconstitutional, and President Andrew Jackson ignored the Court.

Impeachment and the election process are how this nation has dealt with elected officials who do not perform their duties properly. When courts begin to imprison elected officials based on how they perform their duties, they are overstepping the separation powers which is one of the primary guarantors of our freedoms.

I realize that those who favor gay marriage will not allow themselves to see this. I also realize that the concept of separation of powers has become increasingly weak due to judicial overstepping of its clear boundaries by using its power to issue rulings to create and pass legislative initiatives of revolutionary proportions without any reference to representation of the people. But the courts must be stopped from overstepping their boundaries by imprisoning elected officials for not performing their duties in the manner the court decides they should.

There is a lot more at stake here than the recent judicial fiat on gay marriage.

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158 responses to “Kim Davis is Out of Jail”

  1. What I don’t understand is why she is in jail. If anyone refuses to do their job er the requirements, one gets fired. One doesn’t go to jail. Can someone explain to me why she went to jail?

        • No. Not in jail for not doing her job. IN JAIL for defying a court order. I don’t know why you all keep claiming it’s one thing when it’s clearly not.

          • The court order was issued because of her job performance. Thus, an elected official was summarily jailed by a judge for how she performed her elective duties. Ergo, violation of separation of powers.

      • So … courts may jail elected officials for not performing their duties as the courts demand, but they can’t un-elect them? Either way, it’s the judiciary, truncating the electoral process. In a democracy, elections are sacred. They have to be. Otherwise, it’s not a democracy.

        • Courts may not write laws. They absolutely are compelled to enforce them. You seem to be confusing Ms Davis for a legislator or an executive. She’s not. She’s an administrator who has failed to administrate the law of the land because she doesn’t like it.

          • If she were merely an administrator, you would be right. But she is an elected official. She stood for election and was chosen, in a free election, by the people to hold this position. Her job performance is answerable to them.

          • Courts are not compelled to enforce laws. That is not their job. Look it up in an old civics book.
            Courts are supposed to interpret laws as written. They have no authority to enforce them.

  2. Gay marriage is a lost cause nationally. Kim is a Democrat. The Republican Party is worried about Kentucky. Kentucky. That should speak volumes.

  3. This is not about doing her job in a satisfactory manner. It is about not doing part of her job because of her prejudice. She took it all the way to the Supreme court and lost. She was given a chance to let others in her office issue licenses and refused. .

    • Prejudice if of course your opinion. But as a matter of fact, she was not given the chance to let others in her office issue licenses. She has suggested that laws be changed so that she has that chance (and they might be). She’s been given the chance to issue licenses, herself, THROUGH her deputies while not personally being in the room. Such licenses are still issued by her authority, or by her, which she wishes to avoid. There is currently, in Kentucky, no provision for the licenses to not be issued by her authority in her county.

      Part of me wonders if this makes any licenses her deputies issue contrary her directions essentially forgeries, since the deputies are claiming to act on delegated authority which they do not in fact have, but I suspect that won’t actually come up.

      • she ordered everyone in the office to deny same-sex couples marriage licenses. Yet, she campaigned saying she would follow “the letter of the law”, she never asked for any such accommodation. She freely took a job she knew she could not perform and is now using it to enforce her own religious beliefs.

        • 1) She ordered such licenses not be issued because they would be issued by her.

          2) She probably did not expect 5 unelected judges to magically discover that the founding fathers and various amenders of the constitution had accidentally written in rights to things most of them would have considered absurd. (Without actually, you know, doing anything so crude as actually writing in the rights because, well, that’s just so passe.) Who’d’ve thunk? But yes, since this fiasco, she has mentioned that such accommodations would allow Kentucky to issue such licenses in her county without her being the one issuing them.

          3) Is she enforcing her religion, by refusing to authorize something that can easily be authorized without her if the Kentucky legislature meets and says so, or are the judges who declared that the will of the people be wiped out and replaced by their own, and that anyone who won’t cooperate must go to jail, enforcing theirs?

          Glass houses, bro. Glass houses.

          • It’s her job to know she may have to issue marriage licenses to gays. Refusing to issue marriage licenses based on one’s religion sounds like an enforcement to me.

    • Well, she did not ‘lose’ at the Supreme Court, they simply declined to hear her case as presented in this instance. That is not an irrevocable decision.

  4. And an elected official, campaigned and sworn to uphold law, can decide on who’s rights are upheld? I’m not sure of the legality of imprisonment, but courts do get involved with performance of a job when such a position is abused. It’s very clear from a legal perspective that this was an abuse of authority. It’s also quite hard to take her seriously when by her own standards she is a three-time and currently sustained adulteress.

    When people start applying conflicting judgments on other people without the backing of the law, it’s a performance problem, abuse of the constituents and not honoring anyone’s freedom. If she does not like the law she should not swear to uphold it.

    • Your interpretation of the law is incorrect.
      Please look up reasonable accommodation, read Rebecca’s comments.
      And, the Detraction against her is pitiful. Y’all are the ones screaming, “judge not!”

      • Reasonable Accommodation in the USA states: “no qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of a public entity, or be subject to discrimination by any such entity.” The last time I checked, a religious objection is not a disability. However, if you want to scream reasonable accommodation and say it applies to Ms. Davis, I’d say it applies to those wishing to get a license from her office – they were “. . . denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of a public entity. . . “

        • Actually, there is a lot of precedent for reasonable accommodation for religious reasons. That is where they pulled the disability accommodations from.
          Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.[1]

        • Of course, they could just have gone to the next county over. I mean, those two guys who drove from Ohio to meet the camera crew had no problem traveling.

    • In this case, the Supreme Court is the one breaking the law by its bizarre decision. The notion that the Constitution demands gay marriage is laughable on its face.

    • ‘…she is a three-time and currently sustained adulteress.’
      .
      Christianity is all about redemption. Unless you can swear that you are perfect, put down that rock.
      .
      ‘ If she does not like the law she should not swear to uphold it.’

      .
      That’s an excellent point. At the time she swore, the law said (and still says) marriage is between man and woman.

  5. Elected officials are no less accountable to do their jobs. Further, they are accountable to uphold the oath of their office. Ms Davis didn’t do her job or act in accordance with her oath.

    When elected officials don’t abide by the law, their actions are absolutely within the jurisdiction of the judiciary. That is the articulation of checks and balances. Your idea that elected officials are somehow above the law is chilling.

    • Elected officials are not above the law. Their failures to perform their duties are handled by elections and, if local constitutions allow, by impeachment. What I am talking about is separation of powers, which is absolutely necessary if we are to remain a free people. The judiciary has already taken on legislative functions which are far outside is purview. They have no business imprisoning elected officials — WHO ARE THE PEOPLE’S VOICE IN GOVERNMENT — for how the elected official performs their duties in office. This is a massive overstepping on the part of the judiciary.

      • A question, Rebecca. If it was decided to impeach Davis, how long might that procedure take? While it was in process, I suspect she would still be denying SS couples marriage licenses which is illegal in this country now or preventing her clerks from doing so, thus following her beliefs. That is basic discrimination which is illegal.

        • I don’t know if the local constitution even allows impeachment in the case of her office. All these things are a matter of Kentucky’s governance. You know, will of the people and all that.

          • Makes sense that all states have slightly different governing rules. Will see what happens with her now as she, I suppose, returns to work. Just heard on the news that her deputy clerk says he intends to continue to issue licenses.

          • I have heard that it does. However, after all this and the overreach by the judiciary and screeching from the left, she could run for governor and get elected.
            How many divisions does this judge command?

        • Hmm. “SS couples…”? Really? When did the Reich return? You know, I think there may be a veiled truth here. The call for “tolerance” sure seems to be lacking now that “progress” has been attained.

            • Good to know about Pagansister… my comment was more about the general movement of pro-homosexual activists that often present as very intolerant, after pleading so vociferously for tolerance. That rings so close to Nazi propaganda of that day. Again, no intended accusation toward Pagansister, it was just noting the use of “SS couples” phrase. If that is how it is generally being referenced, I am surprised that I have not heard the comparison from others before now.

          • I thought since the subject in this article is about denying of marriage licenses to same gender couples, (or Same Sex couples) that most would understand that abbreviation “SS”. Guess I was incorrect in that assumption. Nothing to do with WWII Germany or Hitler! (yes, I’m old enough to know about that time frame, but I certainly never even thought of referencing that).

        • Rebecca is exactly right. How long it takes is up to Kentucky.
          The judge overstepped his authority and should be removed himself.
          There has to be reasonable accommodation. There is lots of precedents for that, including for atheists, Muslims, Jews, you name it.
          I do not understand why there is such misunderstanding of basic constitutional rights and law.

          • The Supreme Court cleared all that up, gays are entitled to equal protection under the law. Davis is sworn to follow the law.

            • No!No!No! Just because SCOTUS declared something does not do away with everyone else’s rights.
              There has to be reasonable accommodation. There is a very long precedent for that.
              We don not loose our rights because of a judicial decision, nor are judges dictators.

              • Here’s a newsflash: If SCOTUS decided it, it wasn’t illegal. What SCOTUS actually says is that you can’t deny SSM to those wishing to be married to a person of the same sex. It doesn’t give them special rights, it gives them the same rights that everyone else has.

            • Reasonable accommodation is in the law with a lot of precedent.
              The judiciary has no authority to imprison an elected official not convicted of something.
              Btw, law is never settled.

          • Right. I don’t understand how you don’t get it either. The judge issued an order to her. She disobeyed the order so she could appeal. The appeal was not heard by SCOTUS. He reissued the order. She disobeyed/refused to abide by the order. He gets to fine her or throw her in jail. See? Pretty simple.

        • Actually, religious freedom is in the constitution as well – which is more legal: religious freedom or homosexual rights? Oh, I forgot – homosexual rights is not mentioned in the constitutions. Fancy that! Religious freedom is the law of the land. You elect an official, then change the rules of the game, and expect the official to be ok with that. That is called bait and switch. As far as I know, that is considered a highly unethical business practice.

          • “All men (women) are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain rights ” etc…….. (does that sound familiar??) Does that say that those who happen to be attracted to the same gender are not equal and don’t have the same rights?

            • Declaration of Independence which is not statute. Not law!
              How about this one:
              Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.[1]
              That is law!

          • Yes, it is illegal. SCOTUS decision. She was elected to her office—one of her jobs is to issue marriage licenses, which she refused to do only to SS couples. Thus, not doing her job. Discrimination pure and simple.

      • That’s simply incorrect. The fact of Ms Davis’ election doesn’t give her latitude to break the law or defy court orders. Similarly, an elected judge doesn’t get to decide which laws she will apply to a case and ignore the ones she doesn’t like.

        There was no overreach here. Elected officials are still bound by the law.

        • Beg to differ. Elected officials ignore court orders all the time. That’s been going on throughout the history of the Republic. When they do, the courts have things they can do. But imprisoning the elected official is not one of them.

        • So you agree then, that the city officials in San Francisco should be jailed for ignoring our immigration laws by declaring San Francisco a sanctuary city, and you agree that Gavin Newsome should be jailed for illegally handing out gay marriage licenses a few years back when it was against California law?

          • Gavin Newsome stopped issuing marriage licenses to gay couples because of a court order. If he had not complied, he would have been subject to sanctions….like Kim Davis.

    • So in South Africa, all elected officials should have obeyed the Apartheid laws because they have to uphold their oath of office?! That is twisted.

    • Ms. Davis swore an oath to the constitution of her state, which in corollary defines marriage as the union of man and woman.
      .
      The judiciary is not a law-enforcement branch of government.
      .
      Obama is an elected official who hasn’t been abiding by our immigration laws – what court will be sentencing him?

    • Well, they didn’t save 55 million plus other lives.
      .
      In fact they purposefully killed them and then made profit from the body parts.

  6. The judiciary has been explicitly empowered by statutory law to punish contempts of court by fine or imprisonment. Elected officials’ duties and obligations are likewise defined by law and, like all laws, are subject to judicial oversight and interpretation. No exception, regarding the judicial power to issue and enforce orders, has ever been granted for elected officials.

    It may be that such an exception ought to exist and we ought to have recourse only to impeachment, in cases of elected officials who behave unlawfully. But that is not the system that we have in place.

    • This is absolutely not true. The judiciary has no power to imprison elected officials for failure to perform their duties. Elected officials are subject to ELECTION. They are the VOICE OF THE PEOPLE IN GOVERNMENT. What you are describing is a judicial dictatorship, which would destroy utterly government of, by and for the people and substitute government by appointed tribunal.

      I deleted your link. If you prefer I not do that, I can delete this entire conversation. Your choice.

      • Not in prison for failure to perform duties. Never was in prison actually. She was in jail for failure to abide by a court order. “The court cannot condone the willful disobedience of its lawfully issued order,” Judge Bunning said. “If you give people the opportunity to choose which orders they follow, that’s what potentially causes problems.”

    • Thank you, Rebecca. Hazemyth, the way you describe the judiciary is as a dictatorial power. They are not. In fact, it is about time to rein in these judges, some elected, some appointed. They cannot enforce or make law.

    • That is right! All German elected officials should have obeyed the laws instituted by the Nazis! To heck with them – no exceptions!!

  7. Now all she has to do is not stop her clerks from issuing marriage licenses to eligible couples, no matter the gender combination of the couple. Or better yet, just resign.

    • Their “right” to marry is not infringed upon – they can go elsewhere and still get a marriage license – WITHOUT infringing upon her First Amendment right of conscience! She is NOT preventing them from getting their “right” (just like the bakers and photographers). In my mind, everyone who insists that people violate their consciences for this other “right” are the true haters imposing their secular humanism on others.
      Citizens of this country DO NOT LOSE their first amendment rights when they take a job or public office. Do your constitutional homework!!!

      • Why should they go elsewhere to obtain a legal license to marry, especially if they are from that state? Just a question. If she objected to 2 different races being married, and refused them a license, would that be OK or would she be violating their rights? Should that couple have to go elsewhere? At one time that would have been illegal too and not that long ago in this country. What do you think? It has nothing to do with secular humanism, it has to do with equal rights. As for your last statement? 🙂 Humor is always good.

        • Why should I have to go elsewhere to get a ham sandwich?! Shouldn’t that kosher deli nearby me HAVE to make that ham sandwich? By catering to Orthodox Jews, aren’t they violating my rights as a Catholic?! Your logic makes no sense.

          • What do ham sandwiches have to do with denying 2 people of different races the right to marry? And if you want a ham sandwich, go to the kosher deli. They might just have that, since everyone who goes into that deli might not be Jewish and wish to order one. If indeed they don’t have any ham, you can leave or order another kind of sandwich. No, your rights have not been violated by them not having ham. In fact you should suspect that ham might not be sold there and not be surprised when it isn’t. In the grocery store if you can’t find just the food product you want you go somewhere else. Deli’s are in business to make money. Bakers who make wedding cakes do so to make money. I do not find it necessary or logical, however, to sue a bakery if they don’t want to take the order. Having said that, IMO baking a cake doesn’t validate SSM. It is food, not a license. An aside. All marriages are not performed in a religious institution or done by a representative of a religion..minister, Rabbi, priest etc. Many marriages are done in a secular environment, no religion involved, as I suspect you know. A license is necessary to get married, no matter the type of marriage to take place. Davis probably would have no idea what place (church, Justice of the Peace etc) that a marriage was to take place so her reasoning to deny ridiculous and illegal.

            • You are making the case for going to the next county for a license. While I’m not sympathetic to Davis, I’m also not sympathetic with the demands of gay activists, which basically boil down to demanding compliance.

              Yes, artists do validate a marriage ceremony by their partipation. They are not in the position of a county clerk, who is, after all, just issuing a license, and not performing a marriage. Personally, I would bake the cake to celebrate the hope of happiness for my friends. But it’s not my conscience at stake. If we can’t accomodate private citizens in their conscience, what kind of culture are we really?

          • This Kosher deli thing is played out and always wrong. A Kosher deli, by definition, would not carry or serve non-Kosher products, as a matter of operating their business according to their religious faith. The government has no faith, and therefore should not be operating according any religious faith.

        • You rightly object to laws prohibiting interracial couples from marrying. Interracial couples barred from marriage are being denied a fundamental right. Marriage is not contingent on racial equivalence. Any religious teaching that disallows interracial marriage is invalid, and in the case when just civil law clashes with invalid religious teaching, so-called religious liberty (whatever that is) need not be accommodated, nor should it trump civil law.

          Laws prohibiting interracial marriage are unjust. Why?
          A fundamental right is being violated in laws barring interracial couples from marrying. What right?
          Interracial couples seeking marriage are indeed entitled to the “equal right” to marry. Why?
          The justness of any given law is determined by certain essential principles. What are those principles?
          (Yes, I’m leading you somewhere…).

          • Yes, prohibiting interracial couples from marrying is denying them a fundamental right. IMO, so is denying same gender couples from marrying. I do not see a difference.

            • I’m not surprised that you don’t see the difference. Ask yourself what separates justice from injustice, or if it’s easier, the innocent from the guilty… .
              There is nothing in the essence (or nature) of marriage that concerns race. On that fact, which we can call the nature of marriage, forbidding marriage to people of different races is objectively unjust. Laws prohibiting interracial marriage are thus in violation of natural law, and things that violate natural law are ultimately destructive to the flourishing of persons and societies. Such laws should, in justice, be abolished. You are right to object to such laws, because, whether you know it or not, you are appealing to natural law and to the truth about the nature of marriage.

              Now if you are intellectually consistent and you carry this truth about the nature of marriage into same-sex “marriage,” it will be obvious that to allow people of the same sex to “marry” is to violate a natural truth about marriage. You rightly (if unwittingly) invoked a natural truth about marriage to show the injustice of laws prohibiting interracial marriage. While the nature of marriage is not contingent on racial equivalence, it is utterly dependent, by definition, on sexual complementarity. Civil laws allowing for such a violation of natural law should not, in justice, be permitted to stand. Laws allowing for same-sex “marriage” are objectively unjust for the same reason that laws forbidding interracial marriage are unjust– they do an objective injustice to the nature of marriage, and such injustices do great harm to the flourishing of society.

              The thing that distinguishes justice from injustice, or the innocent from the guilty, is truth. There can be no justice without truth. In the absence of truth, no verdict can be delivered that separates justice from injustice or innocence from guilt. The very word “verdict” means “to tell the truth.” Prior to the rot of modern thought, what mankind sought most in these matters was justice. It is a sad irony that modern people are willing to reject the very means that is indispensable for producing what they most ardently desire. They shun truth and expect justice to flower in a barren desert. Let us, in truth, render a just verdict on same-sex “marriage” as we have already done for interracial marriage.

      • Then she should resign and another election held to fill the space. At that time another person’s name would be on the license. I find that really simple.

  8. The circumstances of Davis’ imprisonment are cut and dry; although I realize that those who [dis]favor gay marriage will not allow themselves to see this.

    Mrs. Davis was elected (as a clerk) to represent the government/civilian interaction in matters of current law. She became a law unto herself when she refused to issues marriage licenses to lawfully eligible couples. When the court ordered her to comply with established law, she continued to refuse.

    This put her in Contempt of Court.

    When ANYONE is in Contempt of Court the judiciary has two tools at its disposal.

    1) Fines

    2) Imprisonment

    The actions that precipitated the Contempt of Court ruling are inconsequential.

    Mrs. Davis advised the court that any fines levied on her would be paid by outside sources. This defeats the purpose of fines. Thus the only option left to the judge was imprisonment.

    It is being said that as an elected official she is answerable to ‘the people’ and the only recourse in this situation is impeachment. This isn’t entirely accurate. Yes she was elected but that was to work within established law. She swore an oath to do so. And the ‘will of the people’ does not allow them to define what laws she will uphold.

    So it would be better to say; for not issuing licenses to lawfully eligible couples (thus breaking the law) she should/ and may be impeached. For being in Contempt of Court she can and has been subject to the penalty of that ruling.

    Judge David Bunning, held up Mrs. Hamilton in this post (and conservative Christians in general) to stand in as the epitome of anti-Christian judicial tyranny, is a Christian social conservative who opposes same-sex marriage on religious grounds. Appointed by President Bush II, Judge Bunning is a very conservative judge who is personally opposed to same-sex marriage on religious grounds and believes that Obergefell was wrongly decided. Unlike Davis, however, Judge Bunning does not take it upon himself to pick and choose between laws on the basis of his personal religious belief, but instead has elected to fulfill his obligations as a lower court judge, and is using the tools available to him to
    enforce the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell.

    The irony is palpable; if not necessarily sweet.

    • Your comment assumes that the decision of the Supreme Court was lawful. It was not. The Court did not exercise the judicial power, instead they sought to exercise the legislative power. The four dissenters said as much, and it is clear the Constitution says nothing about marriage at all. The fact that Justice Kennedy, in his decision,took ONE WORD that is in the 14th amendment and decided that he was the sole person in the world to decide what that one word meant, ripped from its context. He merely gave us his personal opinion, which is not the law of the land.

      In fact, Abraham Lincoln warned us about this type of nonsensical approach.

      “The world has never had a good definition of the word liberty, and the American people, just now, are much in want of one. We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatable [sic] things, called by the same name – liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two difference and incompatable [sic] names – liberty and tyranny,”

      Justice Kennedy’s personal definition of the word liberty is not controlling on any citizen. The fact that he gave us his personal definition in the context of a supreme court case does not bind anyone. We are all free to disregard Obergefell. The Supreme court was not created as a super legislature where any combination of five votes can do whatever they want. Their decision must have a sound Constitutional basis. Obergefell does not.

      • samton, are u suggesting that any USSC decision that is not unanimous is “unlawful”?

        Even the 4 dissenters would disagree with that concept.

      • You may be free under God to disregard Obergefell, but the state is not free under the Constitution as it stands to disregard it under the Supremacy clause, Marbury v Madison, and Cooper v Aaron.

    • One of the basic principles behind law is an unjust law is NO law, so we are obligated to defy it (the writers of the constitution knew this well). For example, in Nazi Germany, some rather ugly laws were passed on how to deal with certain unwanted classes people. If an elected official chose not to obey these unjust laws, according to you that elected official would be in the wrong for picking and choosing between laws. Rather, using your logic, as an elected official, he would be obligated to obey them. That is crazy talk. We are under NO obligation to obey unjust laws.

    • ‘She became a law unto herself when she refused to issues marriage licenses to lawfully eligible couples.’
      .
      She’s actually following the law of her state, as it stands written today.
      .
      The real irony is that the persecution of Ms. Davis will probably do a lot more harm than good for your cause.

      • No, the Supreme Court decision abrogated the Kentucky law. I think we should find a way to bring narrow court decisions under Congressional review. But that is not the situation at hand.

        • Our Congress doesn’t need that power. Further to Rebecca’s respect for the separation of powers, Congress has the power right now to write a new law or amend an existing law if they think the courts are interpreting it incorrectly. If Congress doesn’t like the constitution (as interpreted by the USSC), they can try to amend it right now.

      • “She’s actually following the law of her state, as it stands written today.”

        By that reasoning the State of Virginia could have and should have put Mr. and Mrs. Loving back in jail.

        Fortunately, the 14th Amendment speaks precisely to this matter.

      • “The real irony is that the persecution of Ms. Davis will probably do a lot more harm than good for your cause.”

        We may have to come to an agreed upon definition of ‘persecution’; sitting in jail while getting three (publically funded) squares a day and still collecting an $80,000 dollar salary (from taxpayers) is a very loose definition. I’d bet overseas Christians having their churches burned down and losing their heads would gladly trade their persecution for Mrs. Davis’s.

        However all the evidence points in the other direction; the actions of Mrs. Davis are hurting the Religious Freedom™ fight.

        First of all, out of Justice Scalia’s own mouth, Davis’s legs are cut out from under her.

        “In my view the choice for the judge who believes the death penalty to be immoral is resignation, rather than simply ignoring
        duly enacted, constitutional laws and sabotaging death penalty cases. He has, after all, taken an oath to apply the laws and has been given no power to supplant them with rules of his own. Of course if he feels strongly enough he can go beyond mere resignation and lead a political campaign to abolish the death penalty” and if that fails, lead a revolution. But rewrite the laws he cannot do.”

        ~ Antonin Scalia

        While support for religious exceptions was strong even among people who supported SSM; a poll taken from a conservative organization found just 26% of likely U.S. Voters think an elected official should be able to ignore a federal court ruling that he or she disagrees with for religious reasons.

        That’s because most Americans can see the difference between a private citizen working within their own business and a government official collecting pay from taxpayers. The government is the representation of the people, and not just some people, all of the people. This is especially the case when the citizenry is being taxed for that representation. Therefore, as long as Kim Davis is accepting pay from all the citizenry she is obligated to serve all the citizenry equally.

        So while the stand Mrs. Davis has taken makes the Religious Right swoon, it’s not a winning position with most Americans.

  9. Kim Davis, whether she knows it or not has invoked the legal doctrine of interposition. This is a doctrine which stretches back to Madison. This doctrine was an important premise to the American Revolution. Its legal argument is that a magistrate with lesser authority has a duty to interpose herself (stand between) a higher authorities unjust command and its execution.
    Davis is the clerk of this county, an elected position. Kentucky Law prohibits SSM. So the judge is ordering her to violate Kentucky Law. Meanwhile under Kentucky law none of the marriage licences issued by her assistants are legal, becaue they must all bear the signature of the clerk.
    I wait to see her next move.

      • It shouldn’t. I would also argue that the federal government is overstepping. The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution is being completely ignored nowadays.

      • Dave’s point below is well-taken, and is a reminder that another abuse that has occurred with dismaying frequency is the interjection of federal judges in matters that are clearly local in nature.

        More fundamentally, the action of this judge as well as too many others violates both the very sound philosophical principle of subsidiarity as well as the constitutional principle of limited government.

        Too often people impatient with other processes turn to government to solve problems, which it is only too happy to have another excuse to grow. It’s much like people with certain mental illnesses self-medicating with alcohol. Inevitably, the “treatment” poses a far greater menace than did the disease.

        Tolkein’s “Lord of the Rings” presents in the guise of a well-told tale the corrosive effect of the lust for power and the inevitable abuses that follow when excessive power is acquired.

  10. If Kim Davis, was Jewish, and decided not to bring me my bacon cheeseburger because it was against her religious beliefs, I would be justified complaining to her employer. If Kim Davis, was Muslim, and I ordered something that wasn’t halal, I would also complain to her employer. Just because you have religious beliefs doesn’t allow you to make up the rules at your workplace.
    If you are an employee and don’t feel that you can do all of your job because of your religious beliefs maybe it is time to look for a different job or time to deputize a fellow employee to do part of your job.

    • We have something called reasonable accommodation. It is well established and has been for years. That is what needs to be arranged.

    • By your logic then a Muslim bakery has to bake a cake for a homosexual wedding. Why isn’t the homosexual gestapo going after Muslim bakers?

    • So when SCOTUS legalized slavery, and your employer told you that you
      would have to help sell the slaves coming off the ships, you would agree
      to do that since it’s the law of the land?

    • Kim Davis wasn’t ‘making up rules’ – the rules guiding her conscience existed long before your country did.
      .
      Once again, she is an elected official, not ‘an employee’. Read the article and you’ll get the gist of it.

      • do you realize her rules to not apply to other citizens?

        All these arguments work both ways. But under our Constitution the individual is not defined by another’s religion.

        • You’re correct, it works both ways. – the rules of other citizens do not apply to her as well.
          .
          The individual may not be ‘defined’ by a religion, but the freedom of an individual to practice their religion is specifically outlined.
          .
          Individuals are not defined by their sexual acts.

      • Being an elected official makes her rather more responsible to the rules about discrimination based on religion than less responsible.

  11. I may have read this wrong but is Ms. Hamilton arguing that an county office clerk should be free to deny equal rights to citizens s/he serves?

    And that the above is ok as long as the clerk has the support of the majority of the citizens (by election) or the support of the state legislature (if held by a majority supporting the clerk’s denial of rights)?

    S those being denied their rights who have no recourse at all since any judge ruling on such an issue would “overstepping their authority”.

    • No. I’m saying that the courts do not have the right to summarily imprison elected officials based on how the elected officials does their job. The courts do not decide this. It is a violation of separation of powers that would lead to a judicial dictatorship.

      I’m a bit flummoxed by how little people understand our government. if the courts take it on themselves to start imprisoning those who were elected by the people based on how the courts feel that the elected officials are doing their jobs, then the courts are basically taking over the government in toto. That is a judicial dictatorship.

      There are ways to deal with elected officials who do not perform their duties properly. Number one among them is an election. There are also usually processes by which other elected officials can remove them from office, but this usually requires a vote of some sort and, of course, the other elected officials are also subject to an election. This is called democracy. Disciplining elected officials for their job performance is not within the court’s purview.

      The judge overstepped badly.

      • What background (as in education wise) do you have to be able to boldly claim that he overstepped? She was sent to jail because she ignored a court order, not because she refused to do her job. People can twist it around and put lipstick on it and try to make it into a religious belief issue, but SHE DISOBEYED A COURT ORDER and for that the punishment can be (and was) CONTEMPT OF COURT. She is not entitled to a job that she refuses to do. Just because you don’t agree with his order does not make it “overstepping.”

      • The judge did not find Kim Davis in contempt of court because of the “quality of her job performance” but because she actually refused to do her job and by this act she denied the constitutionally garanteed rights of the citizens of her county,

        Do you disagree that a county office clerk denying the citizens of her county their constitutionally garanteed rights actually is a form of judicial dictatorship?

        What do you propose should be the recourse of a minority abused by such judicial tyranny?

        Such a minority could not count on the electorate to vote out the clerk if the majority of the electorate agrees with the discrimination nor could they count on an impeachment from the legislature if it also shares the same prejudices.

        You may call this a democacry, I call it tyranny of the majority.

        And that is why we have the constitution and its safeguards.

        • She “refused to do her job” according to him. He should not be able to make that call about an elected official except as part of his political action as a private citizen. As a judge, he had not business putting her in jail for how she did her job. Repeat: It’s called separation of powers, and is a big part of what keeps us free.

          • And her refusak to do her job was not an arbitrary evaluation on the part of the judge but based on the duties of an office county clerk.

            • It does not matter. That kind of evaluation of how elected officials do their jobs is outside the purview of the judiciary.

              Don’t you see what it means when the judiciary starts jailing elected officials based on what the judiciary decides is a failure of them to perform their duties? It would put the judiciary in complete control of the government. That would end democracy.

              This is why we have separation of powers in the first place; the keep one group from taking all the power unto themselves.

              • I seem to be missing where you addressed the point about what recourse the minority group has in this type of situation. In a community with elected officials who agree with the county clerk elected by a majority of the community that agrees with the county clerk, to whom do the couples wanting to marry appeal? Not their community, not their elected officials…who is left but the courts to say “this is not equal treatment under the constitution of the country per SCOTUS decision”?

                I rather agree that sending the clerk to jail was a bit overkill, but it is still part of the legal system that contempt of court can lead to a sentence of jail time.

                • You’re missing the point entirely. A judge sent an elected official to jail for how she performed her official duties. Do you not see what will happen if judges start sending elected officials to jail for how they perform their duties? We will have a judicial dictatorship.

                  • Disqus removed this comment for some reason. Edited below in case something was offensive:

                    Rebecca, I understand we don’t want a judicial dictatorship, but you seem to suggest that the judge should have asked the electorate if he could jail Kim Davis.

                    Should the electorate get to vote on whether or not to comply with a judicial order? Isn’t that the same violation of the separation of powers? Thanks.

  12. The SCOTUS decision of homosexual marriage is a bad decision. It takes
    away the rights of children to have a mother and father; the act of
    sodomy spreads disease and is an economic burden on states; and
    children do best when raised by a mother and father. Their logic is the
    same logic that they used in 1857 when they legalized slavery in the
    Dred Scott decision. Kim Davis was right in refusing to comply with a decision that will go down in history as one of the worst decisions the Supreme Court ever made.

    • Ideally, children are better off being raised by a mom and a dad. That is the ideal. Not all children are raised in such a situation. Some are raised by a mom and dad who are horrible parents. Some are raised by a single loving parent, and grow up to be responsible people. The SCOTUS decision doesn’t take the rights of children away at all. No one is forcing anything. It is giving a simple right to everyone of consenting age to marry, no matter the gender combination. Diseases are not spread solely by same sex sex. That situation happens with heterosexual sex also…..there are ways to prevent spreading diseases. Children, IMO, have the right to be raised in a loving, caring environment by folks who will do this—-whether it is a mom and a dad, 2 moms or 2 dads or a single parent. If the mom and mom or dad and dad want to marry? Why not? They can provide a stable, loving home also.

      • Why not? Because that is not what marriage is. Did you know there is an Amicus brief by a bunch of adults raised by same sex parents? They were very critical. So are most of the studies.

        • If that brief you mention is critical I expect you could find others that aren’t. I have never read it, so can’t comment on it. There are, I expect, studies of children raised in what folks think of as “good 2 parent families” who also are critical of how they were raised. Not all kids in 2 parent families grow up happy and healthy.

      • You never addressed the other person’s point – children are entitled to be raised by their own mother and father. SCOTUS has taken this away. Homosexual couples can never provide that, by definition.

        • That is false logic. It does not follow that when two people who are unable to reproduce get married they are thereby depriving a child of being raised by their biological parents.

          Children who are in foster care are not being raised by their own mother and father, and being adopted out to different parents than biological parents (hetero- or homo-) is “sub-optimal” according to the understanding expressed in this thread. I would argue that being adopted is more optimal than being raised in foster care, though.

        • In reality are all children raised by their own mother and father? What happens to those that aren’t? No, the Supreme Court has not taken any rights away from children. Homosexual couples can provide love, care, protection and a stable home to children, just like heterosexual couples. To use as a standard, marriages of heterosexual couples is a bit outdated now, unfortunately. Checked the divorce rates recently?

        • “Children are entitled to be raised by their own mother and father”

          What happens if one or both of the parents are dead? That “entitlement” vanishes through no one’s fault.

          Saying that children have a right to a mother and a father demonstrates the same logical fallacy that the assertion that healthcare and education are “rights.” One can’t have a “right” to a limited commodity, whether the commodity is healthcare or opposite sex parents.

          Finally, some gay couples are better parents than some straight couples. Some straight couples are neglectful or abusive. Neglect and abuse shouldn’t be the cost to a child to uphold YOUR IDEOLOGY.

      • As you said, “Ideally, children are better off being raised by a mom and a dad.” Homosexual marriage, therefore, is less than ideal because the child is not raised by a mom or dad. The SCOTUS law now allows homosexuals to create a special class of people that refuse to raise children with a mother and father. Even homosexuals can’t agree amongst themselves whether a child needs a mother or a father.

        Children are persons and have rights under the 14th amendment. How do you think a child in a lesbian household feels when he goes out with his two moms and see other children playing with their mom and dad.

        Because all children are born with half of their mother’s genes
        and half of their father’s gene, children inherit not only their
        parent’s physical characteristics, but also their personalities as
        well. This is how a mother and father become one through
        their children and why numerous family studies have shown that
        children do best with a mother and father. The mother,
        father and child family has a unique biological, and psychological
        bond that other family structures can’t duplicate.

        The heterosexual marriage act creates life; the acts of sodomy,
        analingus and scat produce disease. There are over 20 sexually
        transmitted diseases, and the CDC has show that homosexual men have a 16,000% to 32,700% increased likelihood of contracting HIV over a heterosexual man. Since sodomy was de-criminalized in 2003 by SCOTUS, new healthcare data indicates that sexually transmitted diseases are at epidemic levels in the gay community.

        The bowel is not a sex organ. Currently more than 130
        types of HPV have been identified, with more than 40 types infectious for the bowel, of which approximately 15 are cancerous. Dr. Bain, an authority on HIV and AIDS and who published a comprehensive report on the risks of the homosexual lifestyle, estimated that the total direct cost of treating eight major STDs in the 15-24 year age group in the U.S. was $6.5 billion in 2000.

        • Deker71, I let this through by mistake. I didn’t read to the end of it. There’s no reason to get off into discussion various sex acts in this discussion. I know you didn’t mean it this way, but the way this is worded by be hurtful to some people. Let’s keep it on the issues.

          • Marriage and other social supports have shown to provide for a healthier environment and sexual practices. When you do everything you can to make sure people fail, don’t be surprised when some do and others demand a change–it’s the logical end.

          • My point was tell the truth about the harm the homosexual lifestyle has on the parties involved and society in general. It’s not just a religious freedom issue, but a health issue and a children’s rights issue. I understand your point though – going into details about diseases can be disgusting.Thanks for the feedback.

        • Children have a right to be loved in a stable home life—-and if that happens to be in a SS parent home, as I mentioned above, so be it. I don’t need to address your other statements, as I did that already.(diseases etc that you think are pertinent to this discussion). As for how a child feels being raised in a SS family? That is their normal. How does a child feel raised in a single parent family? How does a child feel in a mom and dad family? How does a child feel being raised by his or her grandparent (s)? A family has no standard definition anymore. The important thing is the love, care and protection given by whatever combination the family is. A question? How do you feel about children being adopted? Is that OK? They aren’t raised by their biological parent(s)?

  13. This whole movement has been characterized by lawlessness. Take for example, the former attorney general who announced (with the brazen support of his boss), that he not only would no longer enforce DOMA, he would remain in office, thus depriving his client, the United States of America, of legal representation with respect to a law passed by overwhelming majorities and signed by a chief executive of his own party. His example was quickly followed by an appalling number of states’ attorneys general, the most egregious example of which has to be California, where that most democratic of processes, the ballot initiative, was rendered moot. The U.S. Supreme Court compounded the injury by holding that only the state government had standing to appeal a lower court decision invalidating Proposition 8. Of course this has its roots in the line of decisions starting with Griswold, which created the ephemeral legal basis for an ever-expanding sexual license.

    The case of Ms Davis can be distinguished from these not least because her action defends an institution transcending time and culture, while those above have participated in a pernicious denial not only of morality but common sense.

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