Judge David Bunning has ordered the release of Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis after seeing enough from Davis’ deputies to believe that gay couples would now receive marriage licenses in Rowan County, Kentucky.
Bunning said a report by lawyers for the four couples who sued Davis said that five of the six deputies — all but Davis’ son — are issuing licenses, as promised under oath that they would do.
“The court is therefore satisfied that the Rowan County Clerk’s Office is fulfilling its obligation to issue marriage licenses to all legally eligible couples, consistent with the U.S. Supreme Court’s holding in Obergefell and this court’s August 12, 2015 order,” Bunning said. “For these reasons, the Court’s prior contempt sanction against Defendant Davis is hereby lifted.”
— Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) September 8, 2015
Davis’ release is conditional as Judge Bunning made clear in his order saying, “shall not interfere in any way, directly or indirectly, with the efforts of her deputy clerks to issue marriage licenses to all legally eligible couples.”
However, Davis’ reprieve will probably be short-lived as her lawyers were quick to tell CNN that “she would violate a court order by forcing her clerks to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.”
CNN’s Martin Savidge explained that Judge Bunning’s actions have not solved anything other than enflaming passions on both sides of the debate.
“The problem here is that the attorney says she has not changed her mind, that Kim Davis is adamant that as long as her name appears on those marriage licenses, she objects and she will attempt to stop those licenses from being distributed. Which means if she goes back on the job as is expected, she will bring the process to a halt. That’s what her attorneys believe.
They have said they expect her to go by her conscience which means we may go through this all again,” Savidge commented.
If Davis follows through with what she says she believes (and after six days in jail, why wouldn’t she) then Bunning will no doubt be forced to consider jailing her again. This simply unmasks the idiocy of Bunning’s previous decision to jail her for her deeply-held religious convictions. If the Supreme Court believes that gay marriage should be legally permissible throughout the nation, then they should have also crafted the mechanism to allow religious (and moral) dissenters a method of opting out of the process. Instead, they chose to simply issue their opinion without care or regard to the repercussions, which seem likely to rend our nation.
The liberal Supreme Court justices who issued this opinion should be blamed for any of the terrible fallout that occurs, because they were warned about what would happen. In their dissents to the ruling, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Scalia, Alito and Thomas all warned of exactly the situation we see unfolding in Kentucky.
Justice Clarence Thomas
Religious liberty is about more than just the protection for “religious organizations and persons . . . as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths.” Religious liberty is about freedom of action in matters of religion generally, and the scope of that liberty is directly correlated to the civil restraints placed upon religious practice… Had the majority allowed the definition of marriage to be left to the political process—as the Constitution requires—the People could have considered the religious liberty implications of deviating from the traditional definition as part of their deliberative process. Instead, the majority’s decision short-circuits that process, with potentially ruinous consequences for religious liberty.
Justice Samuel Alito
Today’s decision usurps the constitutional right of the people to decide whether to keep or alter the traditional understanding of marriage. The decision will also have other important consequences. It will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy. In the course of its opinion, the majority compares traditional marriage laws to laws that denied equal treatment for African-Americans and women. The implications of this analogy will be exploited by those who are determined to stamp out every vestige of dissent.
100% of the blame for the Kentucky debacle can be laid at the feet of the liberal members of the Supreme Court and their liberal supporters.
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