Thursday, September 3, 2015

Kim Davis Goes to Jail for Contempt of Court

As Chris Morley has pointed out in a series of comments here a little bit ago, the breaking news is that the Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk defying court orders to issue marriage licenses (to all couples in the county, apparently, though gay couples are the target) has been sentenced to jail for contempt of court. Steve and I have not had access to an internet connection much of the day, and I'm just seeing the news. Chris's links will be very helpful for those of you who haven't yet heard the news.

I've seen one local news report (from Lexington) which appears to indicate that she was led out of court by federal marshals and sent to jail, and in the meantime, her colleagues in the courthouse were asked by the court if they'd issue licenses. Five of six agreed to do so, her son being the dissenter — and I understand he has been permitted to recuse himself since he's Kim Davis's son.

The local news report indicated that the judge has asked to see Kim Davis again, and that he'll inform her of the decision of her colleagues and ask if she intends to continue defying the court. I fully expect her to continue her defiance.

Stay tuned . . . .

Later: Katherine Krueger and Tierney Sneed explain what may be going on with the court's order that Kim Davis appear in court again after her five colleagues said they'd issue marriage licenses:

Davis, however, said she would not authorize the deputies to issue the licenses, prompting the judge to order she spend the night in July [sic], WOWK 13 reported. The clerk's office will begin issuing marriage licenses Friday morning nonetheless, WOWK 13 said, but the judge warned that without Davis' approval those licenses may not be valid.

So, if I understand correctly, since the other five are her deputies and she's clerk, issuing licenses requires her consent — and she is withholding it, extending her contempt of court. On the clerks and how Davis has apparently been intimidating them, here's Scott Eric Kaufman:

According to the Kentucky Trial Court Review, the other clerks, including Cecil Watkins, didn’t support her in this decision, but were afraid to do so unless specifically order to by Judge Bunning. The Kentucky Trial Court Review’s Shannon Ragland wrote that Davis' "conduct has terrorized not just her staff but everyone that works in the courthouse. And all for a foolish mission aided by out of state charlatan lawyers trying to raise money for their 'religious liberty' mission."

And here's Alan Blinder:

A defiant county clerk rejected a proposal that would have allowed her deputies to grant same-sex marriage licenses, hours after she was sent to jail by a federal judge for disobeying a court order. 
Through her lawyer, the clerk, Kim Davis of Rowan County, said she would not agree to allow the licenses to be issued under her authority as county clerk. Had she consented, the judge would have considered releasing her from custody.

The show goes on, it appears. 

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