Monday, September 14, 2015

Hopefully my last post about Kim Davis

Kim Davis

Kim Davis' celebrity clock has hit the quarter hour, she has returned to work and, my Friday post turned out to be accurate — my Sunday piece, not so much. Davis has said that she will not interfere but that she is not authorizing any of the marriage licenses issued by her office, a distinction that is probably immaterial.

During her 15 minutes of fame she was used by her attorneys to raise money and used by Mike Huckabee to raise his profile. Yet, for most of America (and in spite of the fan mail), she will remain  “that nutty woman in Kentucky.”

Davis' constituents are just getting by with a per capita income of $17,094. Nearly 30% are living below the poverty line. In Rowan County, Davis' $80 thousand salary makes her an economic superstar.

Davis' mother held that office for over 30 years. Kim is hoping for a similar tenure and then to pass it along to her son who is now a deputy clerk. It is understandable when you consider that there are only about 1,800 non-farm businesses in Rowan that employ about 7,100 people. She is up for reelection in 2018. The citizens of Rowan County may no longer view this office as an “automatic.”

Meanwhile the litigation will continue. Liberty Counsel creates motion hydras, attempting to paper their opponents into submission. The preliminary injunction and the three appeals it spawned were just the opening act. A trial will continue at the district court as the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals handles the myriad of motions. Davis will continue to lose at the district court which will generate more appeals of every ruling that Liberty Counsel does not like. The Sixth CCA has already opined:
The injunction operates not against Davis personally, but against the holder of her office of Rowan County Clerk. In light of the binding holding of Obergefell, it cannot be defensibly argued that the holder of the Rowan County Clerk’s office, apart from who personally occupies that office, may decline to act in conformity with the United States Constitution as interpreted by a dispositive holding of the United States Supreme Court. There is thus little or no likelihood that the Clerk in her official capacity will prevail on appeal.
Liberty Counsel wants this matter before the Supreme Court which is unlikely to hear the case.

Meanwhile, Family Research Council's Rob Schwarzwalder thinks that Davis should receive an accommodation from the legislature. He thinks that the governor should call for a special session. Kentucky does not have full time legislators. The session begins in January and lasts 30 or 60 legislative days in even and odd years respectively. A special session is expensive and disruptive. There have been none in 2015 and there were none in 2014. Moreover, the issue seems to be settled. Perhaps they will take it up when they convene in January.

This awful, ignorant woman inherited an office as an elected public official. In the final analysis she accomplished nothing (at considerable taxpayer expense and counting). Her bigotry and stupidity earned her far too much attention as Christians stirred the pot. Undoubtedly she will become part of that list which includes the florist and a couple of bakers, a photographer and so on. Having lost in court the conservative Christians will claim that they need protections from those evil gays when what they really want is a right to discriminate in order to shame people that they disapprove of because of a slavish devotion to Bronze Age texts. Next!

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