Kim Davis back at work, will not authorize marriage licenses, but her deputies can still issue them

In a statement this morning, Kim Davis, who is back at work after spending the first half of last week in jail and the second half at home reading fan mail, insisted that she will continue to refuse to issue marriage licenses that bear her name — both to same-sex and opposite-sex couples. In order to accommodate Judge David Bunning’s court order, mandating that the Clerk’s office abide by the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision and issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, Davis will allow her deputies to issue licenses, but they will not bear her name and, therefore, may not be considered valid.

Watch below:

Davis’s lawyers have already contended that marriage licenses issued by her deputies in her absence are not valid.

In effect, Davis is daring same-sex couples into another, slightly different court fight, saying that they can have their marriage licenses if it means so much to them, but those licenses may not be worth the paper they’re printed on. As these licenses are different in that they don’t bear her name, they are separate and, in her view, not equal.

Kim Davis, screenshot via YouTube

Kim Davis, screenshot via YouTube

But it’s unclear as to why Davis expects this to count as a reasonable compromise. As the Rowan County Clerk, it’s her job to issue valid marriage licenses. Why should her office be allowed to issue marriage licenses that she feels won’t hold up under legal scrutiny? How is that anything other than a slightly more underhanded version of official misconduct?

Davis is holding out for some kind of win. She will continue to be a burden to her office until she gets any kind of official recognition that she, as a public official with sincerely-held religious beliefs, doesn’t have to do her job if it involves affirming the rights of people she feels are going to Hell — a group that is seemingly limited to LGBT people.

Let’s see how this goes.

Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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15 Responses to “Kim Davis back at work, will not authorize marriage licenses, but her deputies can still issue them”

  1. FLL says:

    Kim Davis’ lawyers at Liberty Counsel asked Oath Keepers not to “defend” her—in other words, “Please stay away.” Apparently, they thought the presence of Oath Keepers would be a bit too embarrassing.

  2. JEF says:

    Won’t happen. He is her successor as she was for her mother. But I do agree, fire him asap, or put him in jail, and that will end this issue right away.

  3. JEF says:

    They are around, but I want to see if they will really take on the U.S. Marshall Service when they walk Davis to jail again for contempt.

  4. JEF says:

    They are trying to get tv coverage, liberty counsel, and they are just using this woman, although she cannot figure that out. The statement before work this morning was written by them. Just jail her on contempt again, but this thime do as courts have done for decades against journalists etc, and that is either comply or stay in juail forever until you do.

  5. Glen Thompson says:

    Anything to report on the Oath Keepers? They were certainly posturing last week.

  6. Conservatives always fold like a cheap card table. No wonder they can’t win the Presidency.

  7. JaneE says:

    Is she the only law in the county? Nothing is legal without her say-so? I have never been anywhere where the individual was more important than the job or office. If she were hit by a car, nothing could happen in the county until she was out of the hospital? She never ever gets a vacation day? I can’t believe that any place would allow that kind of thing to fly. Most places used to have a rubber stamp with a signature, so the peons don’t have to bother the boss for routine signature. If not, a “by JE” after the name would be accepted too. You really have to wonder about the legal education of her lawyers if they think that this is going to prevail.

  8. Don Chandler says:

    If some where along the line, the government gave her religious accommodation, then there would be something to jump on. But she has basically capitulated. The Governor isn’t going to call a special session for her…total waste of money. What the Kentucky legislators should do is comply with the supreme court ruling and say civil marriages cannot be denied on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender. No need to even address religious nonsense…to do so would be unconstitutional.

  9. John Masters says:

    She’s right about one thing, she’s no hero.

  10. emjayay says:

    The whole thing still seems illegal and unconstitutional to me. Is there some kind of legal action happening now against this? I can’t imagine the progressive legal side giving in to this very questionable Frankenstein arrangement at this point.

  11. docsterx says:

    I still don’t trust her OR Liberty Counsel. They’ve got something up their sleeve. Davis is probably holding ToTo hostage.

  12. gratuitous says:

    Indeed. It sounds like Mrs. Davis is every bit as competent a lawyer as she is as a county clerk.

  13. The_Fixer says:

    So… I’m told over and over by the right-wing trolls who just can’t seem to let this slide, that all Kim Davis wanted was to have her name removed from the marriage certificates. Yet now that they have, she says that they are not valid licenses.

    This is an attempt to win the argument that would normally only be tried by an 11 year-old who thinks that they’ve discovered the one magic loophole to get out of doing their chores.

    It is not only stupid, but it betrays her lack of intelligence and qualifications. She needs to resign for two reasons – 1) she’s not smart enough to do the job and 2) she’s unwilling to do the job.

    Her idiot lawyer was on TV claiming that she saved the taxpayers of Rowan County $1.5 Million. I wonder if he’s considered the cost of these lawsuits to the county, and all of the other legal costs that are going to come their way? Considering that he makes such ridiculous legal arguments, probably not.

  14. lynchie says:

    Her son who works there is not issuing them either. Kim hired him he wasn’t elected. Time to fire him if he refuses

  15. sonoitabear says:

    “Davis will allow her deputies to issue licenses, but they will not bear her name and, therefore, may not be considered valid.”

    Governor Beshear and Kentucky’s Attorney General have already declared the licenses to be valid without Davis’ signature…

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