Thursday, August 27, 2015

No, really: fire Kim Davis

It strains credulity that someone can baldly and unapologetically refuse to do a job while insisting that she deserves to keep it, but such is the sorry spectacle that Rowan County (Kentucky) clerk Kim Davis presents.

Even after being ordered by both a federal judge and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to issue marriage licenses to everyone, including same-sex couples, Davis continues her work stoppage.

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis has refused to issue any marriage licenses, citing her Christian faith and constitutional right to religious freedom, since the landmark [U.S. Supreme Court's Obergefell] decision in June.
Davis' attorney Mat Staver says she should be accommodated.
“The court of appeals did not provide any religious accommodation rights to individuals, which makes little sense because at the end of the day it’s individuals that are carrying out the acts of the office,” Staver said. “They don’t lose their individual constitutional rights just because they are employed in a public office.”
An "accommodation" lets somebody do the job in spite of difficulties. Davis is asking not to do her job. Staver's argument is a bad joke.

Worse, her refusal to do her job is keeping her office from doing its job of issuing marriage licenses. Because no licenses are being issued, the county government effectively has adopted her religion's strictures. And the First Amendment does not permit that.

Assuming Davis loses in the courts, Kentucky needs to oust her from her job. Apparently, that won't be easy.

Davis has said she will not resign. She can only be removed from office if the state legislature impeaches her, which is unlikely. If she continues to defy a federal court order, a judge could hold her in contempt and order hefty fines or jail time.
Fines and jail time would be appropriate for her intransigence, but what Rowan County needs is not a jailed county clerk, but a county clerk who will do the job. Somebody else has to be installed. If the state legislature won't impeach her, her county's citizens should sue her (and perhaps the state legislature, too) for nonperformance.

Kim Davis refuses either to do her job or to let her job be done. How does she dare claim she deserves to keep it?

She is a shameful example of arrogance fueled by religious zeal. I said it before, and I'll say it again.

Fire her!

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