I guess this answers the question in the last post about whether they have the authority to defy Davis’s orders. Or does it? What if Davis attempts to fire her deputies for insubordination? If they could have defied her all along, why’d they wait until she was in jail to do so? Alternately, if the judge had the authority to order the deputies to issue licenses over Davis’s objection, why didn’t he do that in the first place instead of sending her to jail? Was jail possibly some sort of necessary prerequisite, to render her temporarily “unable to carry out her duties” as clerk, to empowering the deputies?
Davis, who was tearful at times, testified that she could not obey [Judge David] Bunning’s order because God’s law trumps the court. The sixth of her deputies who also said he would not issue licenses is her son…
Bunning warned other clerks — at least two other counties in Kentucky also shuttered their marriage-license operations for all couples — that his order applied to them, too. Five of Davis’ six deputy clerks told Bunning in an afternoon hearing that they would issue licenses, WOWK-TV, Charleston-Huntington, W.Va., reported; the holdout was Davis’ son, who works in his mother’s office.
As word of Davis’ arrest became known in the crowd that numbered more than 100 protesters outside the courthouse, cheers and chants erupted.
It’s all about following the law. Take it from another famous stickler for following the law, Hillary Clinton:
Marriage equality is the law of the land. Officials should be held to their duty to uphold the law—end of story. https://t.co/9WfxgULBga
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 3, 2015
I wonder how long Davis’s jail sentence will last now. There can’t be such a tremendous backlog of gay couples waiting to get married in one county in Kentucky that the licenses will take more than a day or two to process. If everyone gets processed tomorrow, will Davis be released with a warning that she’ll be sent back each and every time another gay couple is turned away? I don’t know how you handle an ongoing act of lawlessness by a public official who can’t be fired but also, for political reasons, almost certainly can’t be impeached.
Or rather, I don’t know how you handle that sort of lawlessness when it’s coming from someone other than the president.
Ted Cruz issued a statement this afternoon siding with public officials’ right to refuse, as a matter of conscience, to implement a new legal standard imposed by a “lawless court decision,” i.e. Anthony Kennedy’s gay-marriage ruling. Where that leaves us in forcing liberal officials to abide by the Citizens United decision or the Heller gun-rights ruling, I have no idea. Cruz is right about this much, though: The line between impermissible acts of legal defiance by rogue functionaries and noble acts of civil disobedience by public-spirited bureaucrats is exceedingly fine, and getting finer by the day.
“For every politician — Democrat and Republican — who is tut-tutting that Davis must resign, they are defending a hypocritical standard. Where is the call for the mayor of San Francisco to resign for creating a sanctuary city — resulting in the murder of American citizens by criminal illegal aliens welcomed by his lawlessness?
“Where is the call for President Obama to resign for ignoring and defying our immigration laws, our welfare reform laws, and even his own Obamacare?
“When the mayor of San Francisco and President Obama resign, then we can talk about Kim Davis.
Excellent point, although it would be more excellent if Cruz was calling for all three — Obama, the mayor, and Davis — to follow the law. He’s not. What he’s doing here is taking the Trump-ish attitude that the left has so eroded the rule of law that it’s time for the right to play along and fight fire with fire. That’s a bad precedent if you think executive overreach by a Republican president would be bad, if not as quite as bad as Obama’s. But it’s darned good politics. There’s a reason Trump’s leading the field.
Exit quotation from Josh Earnest, official spokesman for a guy who declared his own war in Libya a few years ago and then granted himself the power to proclaim amnesty for illegals last year: “No one is above the law. Not the president of the United States nor the Rowan County clerk.”