Message For Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis: Do Your Job
In Rowan County, Kentucky, Kim Davis, the elected county clerk, is defying the Supreme Court of the United States refusing to issue any marriage licenses out of her office, referring couples to neighboring counties. Her reason is since the Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges requires her to issue licenses to same-sex couples, signing her name on the marriage certificate would be a “searing act of validation” that would “forever echo in her conscience.”
Mrs. Davis is responding to a higher law, the “law of God” as she perceives it. This means a determination both of what “law” is to be respected, and what happens when that law comes into conflict with what is perceived to be as a higher law?
Federal Judicial Supremacy Is A Fact of Life
Marbury v. Madison has been established for 213 years. As far as public policy is concerned, the constellation of benefits now required to be provided to gay and straight “married” couples alike is as significant in Mrs. Davis’ life as she wants it to be.
Make no mistake, she will be replaced with someone willing to follow the law. One clerk in jail won’t stop the issuance of marriage licenses in the county for long. If lawless actions are not to be respected, then look at Kim Davis as not only acting against the law but trying to reestablish the framework that makes possible our rule of law. As long as Kim Davis disregards the constitutional process and refuses to issue marriage licenses, the “rule of law” is in jeopardy.
Within our time-worn, magnificent system enacted by the Framers, there is a way to reverse Obergfell. Ms. Davis doesn’t seem to like that structural solution. Whether nine people in robes should have the power that has been exclusively theirs for 213 years, namely, the power to say what the Constitution means is a valid question. However, by refusing to comply, Mrs. Davis seems to want to go outside the framework as designed now that her Constitutional options have been exhausted.
A public official is not exercising free speech by refusing to do the job she was elected to do. She can do the job or quit in protest. Mrs. Davis is free to advocate against the law as a private citizen of Kentucky all she wants, but she is on her fourth marriage. Come on man. Her job encompasses issuing licenses, not blessings. It would be as if issuance of drivers licenses were being denied to people who drive to slow in the left lane on the highway. Do your job.