Kim Davis is now in jail. On the one hand, it probably didn’t have to be this way. She could have deputized another member of her office to sign marriage licenses for same-sex couples. Or, even more simply, she could have resigned à la St. Thomas More. Davis’s position—forbidding her entire office to authorize any marriage licenses—is untenable.
On the other hand, it was always going to be this way. The state can’t demand total obeisance to a new fundamental right that directly contradicts a widely-shared religious conviction without breaking a few dissenters. If it wasn’t Davis, it would have been (and may still be) someone else.
What we have here is a quixotic local bureaucrat from a sparsely-populated county in the Appalachian foothills who has been rebuked by every authority she has come up against and whose cause has been championed only by the most reflexive revanchists in social conservatism (although jailing her is expanding her base of sympathy). In other words, the media would have us believe, we have a Major Constitutional Crisis.