Friday, September 04, 2015

The Saga of the Kentucky Clerk Reaches Its Sad, Obvious Act III

For those of you note following the news - congrats!  Really, congratulations - the news is dispiriting and  annoying.  For those Europeans who get part of it, I will explain.
I fear she is being used by the Liberty Counsel to raise money only
In some states (like Kentucky), County Clerks are elected.  They then provide the basic licenses for the residents of the state - including the marriage license.  After same sex marriage was determined to be legal, they were required to issue marriage licenses to same sex couple.**  There was a general kerfuffle by people opposed to gay marriage, but eventually almost all of them have agreed to issue licenses.  It is their job, usually their sworn job by Oath ("Do you promise to faithfully upload the laws of the state of blah and the Constitution of the United States?" etc).
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But Kim Davis refused to issue the marriage licenses, specifically saying that she was following God's law (which she was not elected to uphold).
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This alone would not be a problem in most cases (it would be illegal, but not a barrier because...). There are deputy clerks that could issues the licenses - which occurs in some jurisdictions like this, but Ms. Davis refused to let her deputies do it either.
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In stepped the "Liberty Counsel" - a "non-profit" organization designed to provide legal services for free for the religiously intolerant.  Of course, Liberty Counsel generates a lot of donations for doing this.  And, of those donations, great majorities of the monies go to the husband and wife team who run it (over $300,000) and to "consultants" that provide help like creating e-mail alerts / requests for funds (over $600,000) and PR people.  This info from a conservative Kentucky newspaper (link).
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Couples in this Kentucky County filed a lawsuit to be allowed to get a marriage license.  Miss Davis was ordered to do the job the County pays her $80,000 a year to do - and she has agreed to do (by oath).  She did not do it.  Instead, through the Liberty Counsel, she then appealed to the UC Circuit court and she asked to not issues licenses while it was appealed.  She was denied because the circuit court said there was very little probability she would win (although her lawsuit appeal could move forward).  She then appealed to the Supreme Court, and was again denied.
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And then she still didn't issue licenses or allow anyone in her office to issue licenses.
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So the original judge ordered her to jail.  You see, at this point he had only 2 options, jail or a fine.  She she was elected, he cannot remove her (she has to be impeached by the legislature).  Since people who do not agree with same sex marriage already pledged to pay her fine (and she would not obey the ruling to issue licenses) - the judge said he had no choice but to send her to jail.
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Once he did that, he asked the clerks if they would issue the licenses.  All said they would, except her son (nepotism much?).  But since the son would not interfere with the actions of others, that isn't a problem.
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So the idea that she is "persecuted for being Christian" is incorrect.  She is in jail for obstructing the rule of law, AND not allowing any work around.
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There is a bunch of other crap about her personal life (that liberals might bring up) that and her "born again" ness (that conservatives), that isn't important in this case.  She is obstructing justice (which is against the law for a County Clerk) for a religious belief (which is against our Constitution) and won't allow a workaround (which is grandstanding).
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** One last thing.  There have been some mistaken thinking that the Supreme Court, which cannot make law, made a new law in allowing same sex marriage.  They did not.  Their ruling was that prohibiting same sex couples from current marriage laws was discriminatory without cause and therefore in violation of the Constitution's Amendments.  They did not make anew law, but ruled that some states currents laws were in violation of the current Constitution. 

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