Federal Judge Slaps Down Kim Davis Emergency Request, Ironically Uses States’ Rights As Reason


Kim Davis once again has been told no by a federal judge, but this time, the irony is exquisite.

Ever since the Supreme Court struck down same-sex marriage bans nationwide in June, far right wing religious conservatives have been calling the ruling unconstitutional, claiming it violates "states' rights," also known as "federalism."

Friday night a federal judge turned that argument on its head, using it as a reason to deny Kim Davis her Emergency Motion for Injunctive Relief.

Davis, the Rowan County, Kentucky clerk refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples due to her religious beliefs, asked U.S. District Judge David Bunning to provide her an "accommodation." Davis wants her name removed from all marriage forms, so it does not look like, for the rest of recorded history, she sanctioned same-sex marriages.

"In her Motion, Davis suggests that the Court could easily stem the tide of litigation by simply ordering Governor Beshear and Commissioner Onkst to remove her name and authorization from the marriage license form," Bunning writes in his denial.  

"While this is a seemingly simple request, it is not consistent with principles of federalism," Bunning notes [bolding ours.]

"Under the Eleventh Amendment, as interpreted by Pennhurst, the Court simply does not have the authority to order Governor Beshear or Commissioner Onkst to alter the marriage license form or amend KRS §402.100 based on alleged violations of Davis' rights under the Kentucky Constitution and Ky. RFRA. Davis' claims brought under state law should therefore be brought in Kentucky state court."

"To the extent that she seeks relief in the form of such an accommodation for violations of Kentucky state law, only the state court can grant such relief."

Davis' attorneys at Liberty Counsel really ought to have known better.



Image, top: Protest against Kim Davis. Photo by ACLU of Kentucky via Facebook
Image, insert: Screenshot from Judge Bunning's ruling, via Equality Case Files

Hat tip: Equality Case Files/Twitter


Don't let Silicon Valley control what you read. Get more stories like this in your inbox each day.

* indicates required

See a mistake? Email corrections to: [email protected]