Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Court Says Enforcement Motion Against Kim Davis Is Moot

A decision by a Kentucky federal district court yesterday may have nearly ended the ongoing legal saga of Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis who, until court intervention, refused to allow her office to issue any marriage licenses once same-sex marriage was legalized in the state. (See prior posting.)  As recounted by the court:
On September 3, 2015, the Court held Defendant Kim Davis in contempt.... After remanding Davis to the custody of the United States Marshal’s Service, five of six Rowan County Deputy Clerks told the Court that they would issue marriage licenses in her absence. The next day, multiple same-sex and opposite-sex couples obtained marriage licenses.... Because Davis’ Office issued these licenses, the Court found that she had purged herself of the contempt and ordered her release from custody on September 8, 2015.
However when Davis returned to work, she insisted on modifying the license forms being issued. At that point plaintiffs asked to court to order the deputy clerks to go back to issuing licenses in the original form.  In Miller v. Davis, (ED KY, Feb. 9, 2016), the court held:
Since Plaintiffs filed this Motion, the Court has received numerous Status reports [indicating] ... that the Rowan County Clerk’s Office is issuing marriage licenses to individuals eligible to marry as needed.... There has been no indication that Davis has continued to interfere with the issuance of marriage licenses since September 20, 2015.... Moreover, there is every reason to believe that any altered licenses issued between September 14 ... and September 20 ... would be recognized as valid under Kentucky law.... Under these circumstances, the Court finds that Plaintiffs’ request for relief is now moot. The Court will continue to monitor Davis and the Rowan County Clerk’s Office to ensure compliance with its Orders.
Liberty Counsel issued a press release on the decision.