Thursday, May 04, 2017

6th Circuit: Damage Action Against Kim Davis Is Not Moot

In Ermold v. Davis, (6th Cir., May 2, 2017), the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated a damage action against Rowan County, Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis brought by a same-sex couple who had been denied a marriage license by Davis.  The district court had dismissed the case because subsequent legislative action and an Executive Order by the governor assured that marriage licenses are now being issued to same-sex couples. The court held, however, that where a suit only seeks damages for past injury, a change in defendant's conduct does not moot the controversy.  Judge Siler also filed a concurring opinion emphasizing that the district court still might find that Davis was protected by Kentucky's Religious Freedom Restoration Act. [Thanks to Tom Rutledge for the lead.]