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Open thread


The stay in the case of the Rowan County clerk refusing to issue marriage licenses expires today. We will report as soon as the Supreme Court acts. This is an open thread.

UPDATE: Buzzfeed reports that the stay is currently expired. There is confusion over whether it expired as of this morning or tonight, but this report and a couple others suggest it is expired as of now. The Supreme Court still hasn’t acted.


  • 1. guitaristbl  |  August 31, 2015 at 10:42 am

    Any news from kentucky or SCOTUS ?

  • 2. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 31, 2015 at 11:23 am

    Oddly no. It's almost 2:30pm in Kentucky. No news of Supreme court action or what's happening with marriage licence requests in Rowan Co. The only news I saw were that some protesters set up outside the courthouse and were singing Onward Christian Soldiers. Obviously protesters in support of Davis.

  • 3. guitaristbl  |  August 31, 2015 at 11:29 am

    Onward Christian Soldiers ? Really the fundumentalists in the US adopt more and more an ISIS mentality.

  • 4. Fortguy  |  August 31, 2015 at 11:39 am

    County clerks aren't the only problem.

    Charles Kuffner, Off the Kuff: Does your JP still do marriages?

    Following Kuffner's link to the original Houston Chronicle article should get you past the Chron's paywall.

    I live in a rural county with only one JP. Fortunately, both the JP and the county judge here are marrying everyone, but I can see how this could be a big problem elsewhere.

  • 5. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 31, 2015 at 11:48 am

    Wasn't this happening in several counties across northern Florida at the beginning of the year?
    Rick must be keeping a spreadsheet of all these counties, parishes, JPs, clerks, or whomever is responsible of issuing licenses or performing marriage ceremonies. Of those that have stopped their licensing and marriage ceremony activities, most are doing it across the board to avoid the appearance, technically, of discrimination. The straights in the community aren't going to put up with that forever.

    I believe a committee of the Ohio Supreme Court issued a non binding memo that, it was in-appropriate for JPs to refuse doing marriage ceremonies, even if based on deeply held beliefs.

  • 6. Bruno71  |  August 31, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    Justices are "getting out of the marriage business" all over the south, but northern states generally aren't tolerating such tomfoolery.

  • 7. VIRick  |  August 31, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    Nor is Louisiana tolerating any slack,– surprisingly.

    Plus, in Georgia, to date, I've only heard of a single instance of it.

  • 8. FredDorner  |  August 31, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    Of all the confederate states Georgia has dealt with this the best, although I think they all generally deserve credit for doing the right thing after the Obergefell ruling. Overall there are just a few temporary sideshows involving officials and clerks in TX, AL and KY, and it's all just about over. Hopefully today's denial by SCOTUS is a message to the bigoted dozen or so clerks in Alabama.

  • 9. VIRick  |  August 31, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    For an extra fee, prior to the legalization of same-sex marriage, every county in Florida offered an optional all-inclusive package that included the marriage license, a courthouse civil marriage ceremony with officiant, and the use of their "chapel" for performing the ceremony. I quit counting, but at last report, about 26 of 67 Florida counties, all in the northern tier of the state, including almost all of "South Alabama," and as far south down the west coast to include Levy County, stopped offering the optional civil marriage ceremony to everyone (lest they "discriminate"). It's easier to name the exceptions. Only these counties in the northern part of the state continue to offer the optional package deal, a package accepted by about 1/3 of all marriage applicants:

    Escambia (Pensacola)
    Leon (Tallahassee)
    Madison (Madison)
    Jefferson (Monticello)
    Nassau (Yulee)
    St. Johns (St. Augustine)
    Putnam (Palatka)
    Alachua (Gainesville)
    Hernando (Brooksville)

    Plus, every county south of St. Augustine-Palatka-Gainesville-Brooksville still also offers the courthouse civil marriage package.

    These do not (unless they've recently changed their minds):

    Santa Rosa

  • 10. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 31, 2015 at 11:57 am

    It seems to me, that anyone 18 and over should be able to go to a courthouse, pay a nominal fee and become registered to be a wedding officiant. I mean, those that are already or can be don't need any special schooling or years of training. They don't certify that they council any or all couples prior to the nuptials, and pre-counseling isn't a requirement. It's not exactly rocket science or brain surgery. All one has to do is dress up, read pre-written vows, and sign the license…right? I mean, I've never been married, but have been to a couple of ceremonies. It didn't seem like officiant did anything that required a Harvard Law Degree. How do they do it in Vegas?

  • 11. VIRick  |  August 31, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    " How do they do it in Vegas?"

    They do it with Elvis impersonators at "chapels" with drive-up windows so you need not even get out of your car.

    And btw, I saw one of those once, tootling along the highway in his vintage pink Cadillac convertible, sideburns a-flutter, with vintage wife in tow, blonde bee-hive and all, somewhere in Alabama, heading toward Tennessee.

  • 12. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 31, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    4PM ET. No news out of Kentucky, however, interesting news out of Alabama:

    Judge orders records sealed in Alabama governor's divorce

    A Tuscaloosa County judge today issued an order sealing court records after Dianne Bentley on Friday filed for divorce from her husband, Gov. Robert Bentley.

    Dianne Bentley's attorney, L. Stephen Wright, Jr., and the governor's attorney, Lisa Woods, jointly requested the sealing of the records.

    Republican leaders, showing us all the sanctimony sanctity of One Man One Woman Marriage. Par for the [Republican] course.

  • 13. RnL2008  |  August 31, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    Afternoon fellow EoTer's………this situation in Kentucky is beginning to get on my nerves……..the Clerk should be arrested and thrown in jail on contempt charges or at least be fined "X" amount of dollars daily while she refuses to do her job……….to allow her to continue on this track, in my opinion is giving her power that she SHOULDN'T have!!!

    Otherwise, I'm healing nicely and currently have no pain medication, which is making me grumpy!!!

  • 14. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 31, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    I get your frustration Rose. But it may be a while b4 that happens. She will still have to be charged with contempt and have her opportunity in court – due process. Maybe by the end of the week if the Supreme Court doesn't grant her a stay, temporary or otherwise.

  • 15. RnL2008  |  August 31, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    Frankly, this clerk has had her DUE Process and in fact had her layers change their argument for a stay at SCOTUS, which may even cause a further delay and it's being done on PURPOSE in my opinion.

  • 16. sfbob  |  August 31, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    Of course it is being done on purpose. The longer Liberty Counsel can delay the inevitable they more they'll able to be able to impress their donor base. Which is really all that matters to them.

  • 17. RnL2008  |  August 31, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    Well, I'm NOT sure it's going to work this time any more than I think Trump has a chance of becoming President of this Country!!!

  • 18. sfbob  |  August 31, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    Their odds being able to use Davis to soak their donors for more money are probably better than Trump's odds of becoming President. 🙂

    On the other hand some of Mat Staver's arguments and tactics (filing pleadings with the Supreme Court that don't make sense, grossly and obviously mischaracterizing the nature of a Kentucky court clerk's job, advising a client to violate a court order) are so egregious that he's liable to find himself being sanctioned or perhaps even disbarred. And wouldn't that be sweet! Like I said, good thing for him his law firm is also a ministry because he might have to leave the bar and turn to the pulpit.

  • 19. RnL2008  |  August 31, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    Well, maybe he'll be a better Minister, at least idiots will believe those lies he tells……!!

  • 20. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 31, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    And they (Liberty Counsel) is looking for a martyr, so they can populate every conservative tv and radio talk show with someone spouting..See! We told you so!. It's coming just as we said…Big Gay is using govt to arrest Christians. Next Obama and Big Gay will be coming for your Bibles.

  • 21. JayJonson  |  August 31, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    A couple was denied a license for the third time today. They have filed suit against Davis and her office.

  • 22. VIRick  |  August 31, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    Rowan County Clerk Could Face Criminal Prosecution

    Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis is headed toward her day of reckoning, and it may include time behind bars. The Kentucky Attorney-General is mulling whether to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate whether she violated the state official misconduct statute when her office refused to issue a license to a Rowan County gay couple.

    Official misconduct is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 365 days in jail. A public servant is guilty of it when, “with intent to deprive another person of a benefit,” he or she refrains “from performing a duty imposed upon by law or clearly inherent in the nature” of his office or “violates any statute or lawfully adopted rule or regulation” relating to it.

    James Yates and Will Smith have been denied a marriage license three times, according to their lawyer, William Kash Stilz Jr., including the day after the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals last week denied Davis’ request for a stay.

    Yates and Smith on Friday, 28 August 2015, asked Rowan County Attorney Cecil Watkins to prosecute Davis, a request he referred to Attorney-General Jack Conway’s office because Watkins is presently defending two suits already filed against the county (by other couples who have also been denied marriage licenses by Davis).

    Allison Martin, a spokeswoman for Conway, said the office can appoint either a county or commonwealth’s attorney from another jurisdiction as special prosecutor or an assistant attorney-general. Special prosecutors are appointed if the allegations constitute a crime and the prosecutor in the requesting county has a legitimate conflict of interest.

  • 23. VIRick  |  August 31, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    So, when did the stay terminate?

    Based on the dates in the above account, both the couple in question (who were denied a marriage license on 27 August 2015) and Rowan County Attorney Cecil Watkins (who filed misconduct charges with the State Attorney-General's office, relative to the same incident, on 28 August 2015) would argue that the district court stay terminated when the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals denied a stay in the case late in the day on 26 August 2015.

  • 24. Bruno71  |  August 31, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    That 3rd denial happened last Thursday. I haven't heard of a 4th attempt today, but if not there surely will be one tomorrow bright and early.

  • 25. sfbob  |  August 31, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    There's a separate case going on where she's suing the governor. The Sixth Circuit stayed briefing on that case; Davis is appealing their decision. So it isn't going to have any effect on her now-unstayed-by-SCOTUS obligation to issue marriage licenses.

  • 26. Bruno71  |  August 31, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    It's actually part of the same case, think of it as a different "module" of Miller vs. Davis. Also, I believe it was Bunning who put that part on hold, and today she's appealing that hold to the 6th CA.

  • 27. guitaristbl  |  August 31, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    I think Bunning's order is ambiguous enough to give Davis some leeway for today. But as soon as the opens the office tomorrow and SCOTUS has not granted her stay she is in trouble.

  • 28. jjcpelayojr  |  August 31, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    You mean as much trouble as defying a district court judges' court order the first time? 🙂

  • 29. Bruno71  |  August 31, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    And now that SCOTUS has denied her stay, she'll have some heavy thinking to do tonight. That is, if she can manage thinking instead of straight-up bible-thumping.

  • 30. jcmeiners  |  August 31, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    Heavy thinking? The best she'll manage tonight is heavy drinking.

  • 31. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 31, 2015 at 5:25 pm


  • 32. ebohlman  |  August 31, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    The SCOTUS has spoken:

    Kagan referred the application for stay to the entire Court, which denied it without comment.

  • 33. 1grod  |  August 31, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    Let Alabama probate judges, as well as the Alabama Supreme Court justices Stuart, Parker, Moore, Murdock, Maine and Wise take note. Your colleague Justice Shaw's March 3 dissent was not that far off the mark.

  • 34. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 31, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    Ha! I had no doubt her request would be denied. Not even a dissent from Thomas or Scalia. To the gallows for Davis and a thorough body cavity search b4 being deloused. Or she can avoid all that by doing her job without bias. Her office's normal business hours are 8AM to 4PM Mon-Thur, and 8AM to 6PM on Friday in case anyone wants to be there tomorrow bright and early to apply for a marriage license.

    Here's her Contact Information: (in case you want to email her a condolence note)

    Rowan County Clerk
    Kim Davis
    [email protected]
    600 West Main Street Room 102
    Morehead, KY 40351

    Phone – (606) 784-5212
    Fax – (606) 784-2923

    Supreme Court Rules Against Kentucky Clerk in Gay Marriage Case

  • 35. jjcpelayojr  |  August 31, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    I wonder if odds are good that she goes on vacation again until the dust settles in the hopes people forget about this a week or two from tomorrow…

  • 36. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 31, 2015 at 5:49 pm

    That's exactly what I was speculating yesterday. Lets see if she isn't on a two week vacation as of tomorrow, or calls in sick to work.

    Her deputy clerks though are all under the same court order, including Obergefell.

  • 37. 1grod  |  August 31, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    Tony: [Kim Davis] "She'll report to work tomorrow, and face whatever she has to face."

  • 38. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 31, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    I hope so, and that she doesn't change her mind, because whatever happens tomorrow will be great. She'll either be issuing licences with a smile or she won't and be subject to contempt charges. Now the speculation is, if she refuses to follow the injunction again tomorrow, will Judge Bunning, impose immediate sanctions, give her a warning, or order her to appear in his court room.

    And it'll be interesting to see what Kentucky's Casey County Clerk Casey Davis will do. He reiterated today that he'll defy any court ordering him to issue marriage licenses to SS couples, even to "the death". Unless he's planning suicide, this is all he has left, over the top rhetoric and hyperbole.

  • 39. Bruno71  |  August 31, 2015 at 6:38 pm

    No one's taken Casey from Casey to court, so he'll probably continue not issuing marriage licenses and spouting platitudes until a couple does.

  • 40. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 31, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    Interestingly, the county seat of Casey County is Liberty, KY. Casey County is only a two hour drive from Rowan County. Perhaps someone should go apply for a license tomorrow in Casey County. I would, if I were in KY.

    Casey County Marriage License Office

    Casey Courthouse
    614 Campbellsville Street
    Liberty, KY 42539
    (606) 787-6471
    8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. / M – F
    8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. / Sat
    Closed for holidays Observed by Casey County

    The fees to get married in Casey County are $35.50 – $37.00 approximately. Fee may vary from county to county. Cash, Certified Check, Cashier's Check, or Money Order.

    Please Note: State and county marriage license requirements often change. The above information is for guidance only and should not be regarded as legal advice. Check with the Casey County Courthouse for changes and clarifications in the requirements before you leave home to apply for your marriage license

  • 41. RnL2008  |  August 31, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    Hell, I'll be happy to call the biotch and tell her to do her job or resign!!!

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