Sunday, September 13, 2015

Liberty Counsel's latest judicial misadventure

Further to my post on Friday, later that day Liberty Counsel filed yet another emergency motion at the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. They now have three separate appeals with innumerable motions. Personally I think that this is abuse of process. Let's back up for a moment and then I'll deal with this latest paper.

All of this activity — all of this gratuitous lawyering is due to an utterly idiotic assertion on the part of an elected public official. Kim Davis contends that she is approving same-sex marriages and that doing so violates her deeply held religious beliefs. In point of fact her office simply confirms that the couple is qualified to marry under state law. Given the language that the Sixth CCA used to deny Davis a stay the Court has clearly indicated that they are going to sustain Judge Bunning's injunction. Were Davis represented by real attorneys they would have told her that her choices were to issue the licenses or resign.

Liberty Counsel is creating a record for the inevitable appeal to the Supreme Court. One that will yield nothing. All of this nonsense is a spectacular waste of time and tax dollars.

Liberty Counsel's new theory is that Judge Bunning's release order cannot be enforced.

LC's new theory is that once the preliminary injunction (requiring Davis to issue the marriage licenses) was appealed the district court no longer had jurisdiction for most matters. That is true. LC further claims that the injunction only applied to the “named defendants” which would be April Miller, etc. That is incorrect. They claim that the release order, requiring Davis to issue marriage licenses to all qualified applicants, is impermissible because it changes the scope of the injunction after the appeal was filed. In simple language, it is bullshit.

What Bunning wrote back on August 12 seems unambiguous:
IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiffs’ Motion for Preliminary Injunction (Doc. # 2) against Defendant Kim Davis, in her official capacity as Rowan County Clerk, is hereby granted.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendant Kim Davis, in her official capacity as Rowan County Clerk, is hereby preliminarily enjoined from applying her “no marriage licenses” policy to future marriage license requests submitted by Plaintiffs.
The plaintiffs in this case included “all persons similarly situated” in addition to the named plaintiffs.
The header of ACLU's original motion

In his release order, Judge Bunning wrote:
Defendant Davis shall not interfere in any way, directly or indirectly, with the efforts of her deputy clerks to issue marriage licenses to all legally eligible couples …

Come Monday?

In the past Liberty Counsel advised Davis not to comply with an order of the court while a stay was on appeal. That should have gotten LC's lawyers sanctioned. It did not, at least not yet. Would they dare try that again? When are this fucking woman's 15 minutes going to come to an end? Her amusement value ended some time ago.

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