Kim Davis, the Kentucky County Court clerk who has persistently refused to issue gay marriage licenses, has asked the Supreme Court to hear her case. Davis, an Apostolic Christian, has refused to issue the licenses for religious reasons, claiming that to do so would undermine her First Amendment freedoms.
On Thursday, a federal appeals court ordered Davis to issue the licenses and, on Friday, her lawyers petitioned SCOTUS to delay the orders until her appeals are finished. Whether or not SCOTUS chooses to hear Davis’ case, the appeals process could take months.
According to The Guardian, Justice Elena Kagan will hear Davis’ case, and most believe that Kagan will ultimately refuse the request. In court filings Davis’ lawyers (she is represented by lawyers from the ultra-conservative Liberty Counsel) wrote that she is seeking “asylum for her conscience.” The newspaper reports:
Her attorney, Jonathan D Christman, wrote that forcing her to issue licenses is akin to forcing a person who objects to war into the battlefield, or forcing a person against capital punishment to carry out an execution.
It’s worth noting that Davis cannot be fired because she is an elected official. The Guardian points out that the only way to remove Davis, short of losing an election, would be impeachment by the state legislature. That seems unlikely since many in Kentucky’s state legislature share her beliefs.
Image via AP.