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Kentucky Clerk refuses to issue same-sex marriage license


Dr. Pepper

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Start with prison as a penalty.

In my experience, individuals usually abandon their unlawful positions once they are faced with the real prospect of being transferred from a holding cell at federal court to the local county prison for overnight detention.

 

Apparently the couple in question being denied their rights has specifically asked the judge to fine her rather than imprison her. They seem to think that she'd rather give up her freedom and be a 'martyr' than get hit in the wallet.

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Apparently the couple in question being denied their rights has specifically asked the judge to fine her rather than imprison her. They seem to think that she'd rather give up her freedom and be a 'martyr' than get hit in the wallet.

I saw that the ACLU is seeking a fine. I wonder though, since she is acting in her official capacity as a clerk when denying gay marriage licenses, whether the Court can fine her personally (as opposed to the municipality).
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Wouldn't she be considered in contempt of court?

 

I was thinking the same thing. I don't want Davis to get a significant prison term, but what about jailing her until she either complies or resigns? That way she can get out of prison as soon as she likes.

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I was thinking the same thing. I don't want Davis to get a significant prison term, but what about jailing her until she either complies or resigns? That way she can get out of prison as soon as she likes.

Honestly, any jail time is bad as it allows her to portray herself as a martyr for her beliefs. That feeds into the persecution complex she obviously has and makes her a hero to the fundamentalist Christians who support her.  Fine her and any other clerks in her office who refuse until they comply. 

 

The more I read about this, it seems her family treats this office as their own personal kingdom.  She took over for her mother and her son works for her.  She faces the prospect of having to get a non government job for the first time.  She really has no leg to stand on and is getting terrible legal advice.

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I was thinking the same thing. I don't want Davis to get a significant prison term, but what about jailing her until she either complies or resigns? That way she can get out of prison as soon as she likes.

 

 

Is this really the way we want our justice system to work?

 

That, to me, is some pretty scary shit. 

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Is this really the way we want our justice system to work?

 

That, to me, is some pretty scary shit. 

 

As I understand it, that's the way it does work now.

 

I'm curious what options are before the judge. In general, I don't like to jail people if alternatives are available.

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Is this really the way we want our justice system to work?
 
That, to me, is some pretty scary shit. 

Lay out your specific objections. The woman is refusing to perform her sworn duties as a publicly elected official and furthermore refusing to comply with an order from the highest court in the nation compelling her to do so. What about that doesn't warrant jail time? People have gone to jail to for being in contempt of court before and I don't see why they shouldn't under some circumstances. How can the criminal justice system function if the edicts of the courts bear no punitive authority?
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As I understand it, that's the way it does work now.

 

I'm curious what options are before the judge. In general, I don't like to jail people if alternatives are available.

 

 

there are processes in place to remove her, which I'm sure they will do once they are back.  So it seems to me (and i haven't really followed up on this so someone please correct me if I'm wrong) the real issue here is not that everyone doesn't already know she is gonna get removed, just that it isn't gonna be expedient enough.

 

I find that a pretty tenuous reason to essentially incarcerate someone into capitulation, regardless of how noxious their particular conduct is.

 

Seems there is also a loophole in the process here that could be closed.

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I find that a pretty tenuous reason to essentially incarcerate someone into capitulation, regardless of how noxious their particular conduct is.

 

One might argue that it's wise to send the message that when a federal court is defied, there are swift, sure consequences.

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One might argue that it's wise to send the message that when a federal court is defied, there are swift, sure consequences.

 

One might.  And there have been.  She's been referred to the AG for misconduct.

 

The wheels of justice turn slowly.  That's a feature, not a bug.

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One might.  And there have been.  She's been referred to the AG for misconduct.
 
The wheels of justice turn slowly.  That's a feature, not a bug.

The wheels of justice of a hypothetical state action may move slowly. The federal system is working quite swiftly.

ETA: Also, the state AG punishing Ms. Davis in some future action is irrelevant to the gay couple enforcing the court judgment requiring Davis to issue their marriage license.
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The wheels of justice turn slowly.  That's a feature, not a bug.

 

Unfortunately, there are couples waiting on this woman doing her duty. It's not right that they have to wait how many months for those wheels to turn. Perhaps the state should pony up the money to transport these couples to another county to obtain the licenses Davis is refusing to issue.

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there are processes in place to remove her, which I'm sure they will do once they are back.  So it seems to me (and i haven't really followed up on this so someone please correct me if I'm wrong) the real issue here is not that everyone doesn't already know she is gonna get removed, just that it isn't gonna be expedient enough.

 

I find that a pretty tenuous reason to essentially incarcerate someone into capitulation, regardless of how noxious their particular conduct is.

 

Seems there is also a loophole in the process here that could be closed.

 

Contempt of court is a long-standing part of our legal system, with imprisonment or fines at the judges discretion; including fines that would absolutely bankrupt a person or organization (most popular being the "it starts at $100 a day, but doubles every day" as seen on Show Me A Hero and what happened to Yahoo! a few years ago)

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I'm honestly surprised there is only one major case like this so far.  I would have expected an almost collective of clerks staging protests.  Perhaps this case is overshadowing other small town clerks who refuse to do their jobs in favor of discrimination?  Does anyone think these sorts of cases will linger for several years like what happened after Loving v. Virginia?  

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Swordfish,

 Is this really the way we want our justice system to work?
 
That, to me, is some pretty scary shit. 


She's refusing to execute a ministerial duty. She doesn't get to say when she doesn't have to do her job. If she were refusing to marry a black and a white or an Asian and a Hispanic on religious gounds would you raise the same objection to forcing her to resign or do her job?

Actually, this is one of the circumstances where a "Writ of Mandamus" would be proper. It is an order for "Bob to do what Bob is obligated to do". Her Free Exercise argument is completely specious. If she doesn't want to issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples she can resign. Her religious predilections do not entitle her to refuse to do her job.
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