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Friday, September 04, 2015

Marriage licenses issuing in Rowan County

Here and here. The first couple--William Smith and James Yates--were not parties to the litigation. No word on whether the license was issued in Kim Davis' name or whether it is valid if issued over her command not to. That probably is moot; it would arise only if a marriage officiant refuses to recognize the license or someone somewhere down the line refuses to recognize the marriage as valid, neither of which is likely to occur.

Davis remains in jail, probably until next week. It may come down to whether, if she returns to her job, she intends to order her staff to again stop issuing licenses.

By the way, note the rhetoric floating around here: Davis's husband is quoted as saying "Just because five Supreme Court judges make a ruling, it’s not a law." Now regardless of how silly that statement is on its own, it is notable that blame for his wife being in jail is being placed on the shoulders of the Supreme Court and Obergefell. But the problem is not that Davis ignored the Supreme Court, at least not directly; the problem is that she ignored a district court order directed at her.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on September 4, 2015 at 09:59 AM in Civil Procedure, Constitutional thoughts, Howard Wasserman, Law and Politics | Permalink

Comments

Couple things.

I think house arrest, perhaps with an ankle bracelet, is at least somewhat unpleasant. Being confined to your home, not being able to work and perhaps even having limited ability to have visits is burdensome.

Also, one useful thing would be that you still are removing her from the office & thus marriage licenses might be carried out by deputy clerks in part since she is not available.

But, I take your point to some degree.

Posted by: Joe | Sep 4, 2015 12:34:14 PM

Couple things.

I think house arrest, perhaps with an ankle bracelet, is at least somewhat unpleasant. Being confined to your home, not being able to work and perhaps even having limited ability to have visits is burdensome.

Also, one useful thing would be that you still are removing her from the office & thus marriage licenses might be carried out by deputy clerks in part since she is not available.

But, I take your point to some degree.

Posted by: Joe | Sep 4, 2015 12:34:11 PM

Joe:

No. The point of civil contempt is not punishment; it is to coerce the person into complying with the court order. House arrest is not likely to have that effect, since it is not very unpleasant.

Posted by: gdanning | Sep 4, 2015 12:06:04 PM

Would some sort of house arrest been a better path than leaving her confined in a jail cell? Seems to be a tad gratuitous.

Posted by: Joe | Sep 4, 2015 10:39:17 AM

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