Dear Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, You’re In Contempt of Court and the Constitution

Anyone who has taken a middle-school government class knows that respect for the rule of law is one of our most basic democratic principles. When a court orders you to do something, you can’t simply ignore it. It’s Civics 101, but it appears that Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis missed class that day.

Last night, the Supreme Court denied Davis’s request for an emergency stay of a court order that requires her to immediately issue marriage licenses to local couples, including same-sex applicants.

With the Supreme Court’s decision, Davis has no legal grounds to continue defying the district court’s order. Citing her religious beliefs, she nevertheless again refused to grant a marriage license this morning to April Miller and Karen Roberts, our clients in Miller v. Davis.   

But Davis’s duty as a public official is to enforce civil law, not her own personal religious views. A court has ruled that, under the Constitution, she must do her job now, and, as we all learned in civics class, the rule of law means that she cannot flout the court’s order with impunity. That’s why this morning, the ACLU and ACLU of Kentucky filed a motion to hold Davis in contempt of court. We’ve asked the court to impose steep monetary fines on Davis to induce her to comply with the injunction and issue marriage licenses to local couples like our clients. 

Davis is entitled to her religious beliefs on same-sex marriage, but she can’t shirk her official duties because of them. She can’t continue to deny loving couples their fundamental constitutional rights — not without showing contempt for the court and the Constitution and not without facing the consequences that may bring. 

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Kris

I cannot thank the ACLU enough for opposing this bigot.

Bill

I'm proud of Kim Davis for her heroic courage. To quote Pope Leo XIII's encyclical called Libertas Praestantissimum:

"13. Moreover, the highest duty is to respect authority, and obediently to submit to just law; and by this the members of a community are effectually protected from the wrong-doing of evil men. Lawful power is from God, "and whosoever resisteth authority resisteth the ordinance of God' ;(6) wherefore, obedience is greatly ennobled when subjected to an authority which is the most just and supreme of all. But where the power to command is wanting, or where a law is enacted contrary to reason, or to the eternal law, or to some ordinance of God, obedience is unlawful, lest, while obeying man, we become disobedient to God. Thus, an effectual barrier being opposed to tyranny, the authority in the State will not have all its own way, but the interests and rights of all will be safeguarded - the rights of individuals, of domestic society, and of all the members of the commonwealth; all being free to live according to law and right reason; and in this, as We have shown, true liberty really consists."

Anonymous

To Bill, you're quote holds little to no legitimacy, you are quoting someone from the 1800's, a time period long ago where things were completely different then they are today, Kim Davis is no hero, she is a bigot who needs to learn that in the United States there is a separation of church and state for a reason. She has every right to be faithful and fall under any religion she so chooses but she CANNOT deny the law, and her job, just because she does not believe it is right. She is no hero and you're reasoning for praising her is just as unjust because there is no reason to deny same sex marriage. In all honesty ask yourself what Jesus would want, Jesus would not want two people to b unhappy just because they are the same sex, but he would want them to be happy no matter what circumstances. All you super religious people need to stop using the bible as an excuse and understand that God and Jesus or whomever you choose to believe in loves everyone equally. The bible was written by men telling storied of the time, not God himself, they were biased in their own views and people need to remember this.

BornBlonde

Apparently, she takes her oath of office lightly even though God is involved. The oath says (in part), " I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this Commonwealth, and be faithful and true to the Commonwealth of Kentucky so long as I continue a citizen thereof, and that I will faithfully execute, to the best of my ability, the office of .... according to law;" and ends with "so help me God."

Is she a hypocrite? She seems to pick and choose where God is concerned.

cassandra

i fully agree without you and yes she is a hypocrite because she has been married 3 too many for god to approve and had 2 children out of wedlock, what does she think god thinks of that?

CJ

Well, she took the oath before her miraculous conversion 4 years ago...maybe she figures it didn't count then.

Anonymous

CJ, no, she didn't. She took the oath of office -- her FIRST oath of office -- last January. Prior to that, she was a deputy clerk while her mother was the County Clerk. So she took her oath of office well after her "miraculous conversion," so the words in that oath SHOULD have meant something to her.

Anonymous

Yes! A hypocrite! She's been married 4 times. I guess her God would accept that so long as she's not a homosexual! Plain and simple there is separation of church and state for a reason and she can not pick and choose which ones she will honor and not honor. Get her out of office. Seems like she not too bright or up for the job anyways. I do not want people in office who are going to let their own personal "feelings' dictate how they do their job. It's an abuse of power. Keep her in jail with the rest of the law breakers!

Liz D

Yes! A hypocrite! She's been married 4 times. I guess her God would accept that so long as she's not a homosexual! Plain and simple there is separation of church and state for a reason and she can not pick and choose which ones she will honor and not honor. Get her out of office. Seems like she not too bright or up for the job anyways. I do not want people in office who are going to let their own personal "feelings' dictate how they do their job. It's an abuse of power. Keep her in jail with the rest of the law breakers!

Mike B.

Ironically, Article VI, paragraph 3 of the United States Constitution prohibits ANY RELIGIOUS TEST for any public office or trust anywhere within the United States. So, oaths on bibles, or any religious tomes, and any "so help me god" lines cannot be required, and, in fact, should be eliminated nationwide, including in court rooms, IMHO.

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