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Rowan County clerk Kim Davis has been let out of jail

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Kentucky state sealBuzzfeed reports:

WASHINGTON — Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, who had been held in jail since Sept. 3 for contempt for refusing to end her “no marriage licenses” policy, on Tuesday was released from jail.

“Defendant Davis shall be released from the custody of the U.S. Marshal forthwith,” U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning ordered. “Defendant Davis shall not interfere in any way, directly or indirectly, with the efforts of her deputy clerks to issue marriage licenses to all legally eligible couples.”

A crowd gathered outside the Carter County Detention Center, where Davis was held. The crowd played Christian rock and people held crosses, American flags, a flag that read “Liberty” and a “Mike Huckabee for President” sign.

In the order announcing her release, Bunning made clear that should Davis interfere with her clerks’ efforts, he would consider “appropriate sanctions.” Additionally, Bunning ordered the lawyers for the deputy clerks who agreed to issue licenses to file a status report with the court regarding their compliance with the court’s orders in the case every two weeks.

You can read the order here, via Just Security.


  • 1. Scottie Thomaston  |  September 8, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    Apologies everyone for just getting this posted now. Was dealing with a medical issue that couldn't be helped.

  • 2. davepCA  |  September 8, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    Hope your'e doing well, Scottie, and if not, get well soon!

  • 3. RnL2008  |  September 9, 2015 at 7:54 am

    Hope you feel better soon and thank you for the updated thread 🙂

  • 4. DrPatrick1  |  September 8, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    I want her back in! Lock her arse up! She will continue to interfere. She is a stain on the rest of humanity. I hope she is taken into custody as soon as she interferes again and it doesn't take starting over…

  • 5. RnL2008  |  September 9, 2015 at 7:57 am

    I would tend to agree with you. As long as Kim Davis wants to remain defiant and NOT comply, then she should remain in jail. She should also forfeit ANY pay she receives for NOT doing ALL of her duties.

  • 6. KahuBill  |  September 8, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    Nobel laureate novelist Sinclair Lewis once said, "If fascism ever comes to America, it will arrive wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross".

  • 7. jpmassar  |  September 8, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    Huckabee blocks Cruz!

    … [Davis] and her lawyer would not say whether she would abide by a court order not to interfere with the issuance of licenses by her office…

    Ms. Davis spoke briefly to a rally of cheering supporters outside the Carter County Detention Center here, where she had been held. She walked on stage to thunderous applause, the song “Eye of the Tiger” playing, her hands held aloft in triumph by her lawyer, Mathew D. Staver, and Mike Huckabee, the Republican presidential candidate and former Arkansas governor. She broke into tears…

    Reporters asked repeatedly if she would abide by Judge Bunning’s order, and not interfere with the processing of licenses by her office, but Ms. Davis remained silent….

    When Senator Cruz exited the jail a throng of journalists beckoned him toward their microphones, but an aide to Mr. Huckabee blocked the path of Mr. Cruz, who appeared incredulous.

  • 8. LK2013  |  September 8, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    Too funny to watch these bozos fall all over each other trying to get in front of the media. If Kim Davis thinks for a single second that any of these guys give a flying f&ck about her, she is even dumber than she appears.

  • 9. jjcpelayojr  |  September 8, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    And here I thought Trump was the one that would lead the race to the bottom. These two are outdoing themselves!

  • 10. Mike_Baltimore  |  September 8, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    Trump is leading the pack to the bottom, but these two are nipping at his heels, and closing. It's really a neck and neck and neck race.

  • 11. Sagesse  |  September 8, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    This article has 1732 comments. No opinion on whether that's good or bad or just interesting.

  • 12. sfbob  |  September 8, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    Some of the comments are really excellent. One for example is from a rabbi who notes that while he, when he solemnizes a marriage is wearing both a secular and a religious hat (and although he doesn't say this he is perfectly at liberty to refuse to marry ANY couple that asks him to marry them), Davis wears only the secular hat.

    Other commenters on the other hand keep on conflating the situation of an elected official with that of the Muslim flight attendant who refuses to serve alcohol. The situations are very, very different. Davis is an elected official and a public servant and cannot request the same level of accommodation as the employee of a business would be able to.

    And finally a few, even some who appear to be opposed to Davis's actions, continue to describe her actions as acts of "civil disobedience" when as we know the official acts of a government official cannot, by definition, constitute civil disobedience.

  • 13. Jaesun100  |  September 8, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    Speaking of Eye of the Tiger 😉

  • 14. ebohlman  |  September 9, 2015 at 10:36 am

    "Getting Republican campaigns to license the music they use" is listed in the Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy under "recreational impossibilities".

  • 15. VIRick  |  September 8, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    Per Equality Case files:

    In "Miller v. Davis," (Rowan County KY Clerk who won't issue marriage licenses):

    Sunday's attempt by Davis' attorneys to simply "amend" the existing notice of appeal to include appeals of more recent orders – including the contempt order – wasn't accepted by the district court. A docket entry this morning, 8 September 2015:

    ""Clerk's Note: re 79 Amended Document. Clerk spoke with counsel for defendant to notify that a new Notice of Appeal needs to be filed. Clerk marked document 79 as "incorrectly filed." (KSS) (Entered: 09/08/2015)"

    New notices of appeal followed. The notice re: contempt order is linked here:

    Notice re: order granting plaintiffs' motion to clarify injunction is here:

  • 16. guitaristbl  |  September 8, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    I think betting markets should pick this one : How long will it be till Davis lands in jail again ? More or less than 2 days ?

  • 17. TDGrove  |  September 8, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    I honestly think the answer is 'never'. I think there were back channel discussions and that she will be happy with the change that's been made to the form. Her name isn't on it. I don't think it is a coincidence that we saw that the same day she gets released. I think it is more likely another state clerk refuses an application as the next thing to happen.

  • 18. guitaristbl  |  September 8, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    Her lawyers were raving that the licenses "are not worth the paper they are issued on" and now suddenly she is fine with that ? I doubt it..She is planning more of a show..!
    Today she was basically behaving like a superstar as she was released and the christian ISIS supporters were cheering for her. She absolutely loves it !

  • 19. TDGrove  |  September 8, 2015 at 5:47 pm

    Why would Bunning release her? Governor says modified licences are fine. They satisfy her demands as contained in the court documents. It just smells to me like everyone got together in private and agreed to something but everyone is saying something else for public consumption. Just my guess. If there was something else that I am unaware of that forced Bunning's hand I might change my mind, but this seems like everyone is getting what they wanted.

  • 20. GregInTN  |  September 8, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    I think you're probably right, TD. It sure appears that Bunning has provided the accommodation that Davis has been asking for all along. Now the question is "What, if anything, will the 6th Circuit do with the appeal?"

  • 21. sfbob  |  September 8, 2015 at 11:02 pm

    If there was a bargain, don't bet on Davis keeping her end of it.

    I don't think anything forced Bunning's hand, in fact I suspect he's just giving her a length of rope sufficient for her to hang herself on. Once she's back at her office look for her to either order her clerks to stop issuing licenses or to mess with the system in some other fashion that'll get her into trouble. She thinks she's won but she hasn't.

    The "accommodation" Davis claims she wants really would require legislation at the state level. Bunning can't order the legislature to do anything; it's outside of the scope of his authority.

  • 22. Tony MinasTirith  |  September 8, 2015 at 11:41 pm

    I agree with you. I think Bunning really wanted to give her a taste of what prison is like but also want's to seem reasonable. With the issuing of licences, the plantiffs got what they wanted, and Bunning's order to issue licences was fulfilled just as he stated. Let's see if Davis doesn't go hunt down last weeks application and stamp them with a big red VOID stamp. Someone did exactly that, when the County Clerk in Sandoval County issued approx 60 licences for one day in 2004. The current NM Attorney General explained that those licences issued in 2004 were still valid as no clerk or anyone else has the power to void a marriage licence except a court with jurisdiction, and no court had examined or passed judgement on the 2004 licences. If she stamps any licences void, or disallows her deputies to continue issuing licences…I'd say that counts as direct interference and hope Bunning will send her directly to jail, do no pass go, do not collect $200.00.

  • 23. GregInTN  |  September 9, 2015 at 8:50 am

    I had been thinking that things would quietly wind down in Rowan County with both sides claiming victory. The solution of using "Rowan County" on the forms in place of "Kim Davis" would allow same-sex couples to get licenses signed by one of the deputies while Kim Davis could boast that her name is not on them (which is what she said she was fighting for). The only question in my mind (and it would be a minor one) was whether all licenses would use this "solution" or only licenses for same-sex couples. Sure, Mat Staver is saying the licenses aren't valid but everybody else that counts is saying they are.

    However, today I read that Staver said yesterday that Kim Davis objects to the use of "Rowan County" in place of her name on the licenses. That solution is not sufficient accommodation for her.

    So, maybe the drama isn't over after all.

    By the way, Talking Points Memo is reporting that 10 licenses were issued on Fri/Tue in Rowan County with 7 of them being to same-sex couples. It didn't say whether any of them had been recorded yet following a wedding.

  • 24. Mike_Baltimore  |  September 9, 2015 at 9:47 am

    And there is this:
    where one of Ms. Davis' clerks states that he will continue to issue licenses to same sex couples.

    When he issues a license, and Kim Davis calls him into her office, the reason better be for reasons other than issuing the license. If not, Ms. Davis has broken her promise to the judge, and she goes back to jail proto, IMO.

    Remember, to date she says she was not allowing her office to issue ANY licenses so people couldn't complain that she was not issuing them only to same sex couples.

  • 25. stevew999  |  September 9, 2015 at 10:25 am

    The only error here is that she hasn't MADE any promise to the judge. But yes, I can see him not taking such an action lightly. The transcripts of the contempt hearing made this clear.

    Interestingly, it seemed like he was ready to purge the contempt charge once he was assured deputies were issuing licenses, almost immediately (that is, there is considerable discussion about "since the deputies have said they'll issue them, then is she no longer in contempt?". Seems like this relatively early release was planned by him from the beginning (after he decided to jail her).

  • 26. Mike_Baltimore  |  September 9, 2015 at 10:43 am

    "The only error here is that she hasn't MADE any promise to the judge."

    That we know of.

    And who stated that she HAS made a secret deal? Wasn't me. Part of the public agreement for her release was that she follow the law. Because it was public, that makes it all the easier for the judge to send her back to jail if she interferes with the deputies.

  • 27. stevew999  |  September 9, 2015 at 11:19 am

    I don't recall any "public agreement". There was a judge's *order* which released her, and *ordered* her to not interfere with deputy clerks following the law (issuing licenses).

    I don't know what you're talking about in terms of "secret deals". True, attorneys and judges may discuss options and reach an agreement, but then those agreements are specified in orders (which are, by definition, public). They may have discussed her instructions to her attorneys that she will abide by his order, but they may not have. From my reading of the transcripts from last week, the judge had this "solution" in mind the whole time. He's found her in contempt for not issuing licenses, then after a day of her deputies issuing licenses, purged her contempt with the further order not to interfere (that is, just do *nothing*).

    However this came about, I'd be very surprised if she obeyed this latest order.

    And even if she *does*, there's still the rest of the case to play out (we seem to have forgotten that the merits have not been adjudicated yet, AND there's another suit for violation of civil rights, IIRC).

    Even if she acquiesces, she's not out of the woods yet…nor should she be. Allowing this situation to become the norm still provides for the "slippery slope", and denials of civil rights (what if *every* deputy has a "religious objection"?).

  • 28. Bruno71  |  September 9, 2015 at 11:39 am

    The thing I don't get is, how can she claim to want the KY legislature to pass a law allowing her to have her name taken off the forms and license, yet when licenses are issued from her office legally without her name (they are considered valid by attorneys and officials throughout the state, at least), she claims they are invalid. It's pretty clear that her goal has nothing to do with her own "religious liberty" and everything to do with preventing gay couples from getting marriage licenses in her office. I expect she'll continue to find ways to interfere and wind up back in contempt.

  • 29. Mike_Baltimore  |  September 9, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    FYI – A judge's order IS a Public Agreement, as ALL court orders are public.

    Agreement does not mean all parties to the agreement agree with all parts of the agreement. It means that all parties agree to abide with the agreement.

  • 30. stevew999  |  September 9, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    HUH? IANAL (but I know quite a few), and I don't think I've ever heard them say a court order is an "agreement".

    Was being wrong about Davis making a promise to the judge that irksome that you had to cobble this together to prove yourself right?


  • 31. tx64jm  |  September 9, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    Yes … you can have agreed orders. It happens all the time in family court … the order merely reflects the agreement of the parties in regards to things like child support, child custody, who gets the house, who gets the car, etc.

  • 32. stevew999  |  September 9, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    Thanks for the correction. Didn't know that (or didn't remember, but as I said, IANAL 🙂 ).

    I was thinking more about orders as us laypersons usually do…orders to show cause, orders to appear, orders by the court on the parties as part of a trial, etc.

    Learn something new every day 🙂

  • 33. LK2013  |  September 8, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    As soon as a couple seeks a marriage license.

    Who wants to be first in line tomorrow?

  • 34. 1grod  |  September 9, 2015 at 3:53 am

    LK: As was seen in Houston, Alabama with its population of four time as large, by July 22, there has been 1 same gender request, there may not be another same gender request for some time. Ms Davis will have no difficulty with issuing licenses to 'straight' couples.

  • 35. LK2013  |  September 9, 2015 at 5:22 am

    I'm pretty sure that there will continue to be same sex couples requesting marriage licenses in Rowan County. Ms. Davis will have a lot of difficulty if she issues licenses to heterosexual couples and does not do so to same sex couples. But if she wants to pursue equally lame calculations of her risk of returning to jail, go for it.

  • 36. ColleenJuniper  |  September 9, 2015 at 10:29 am

    I looked to see if there are residency restrictions in Kentucky: there are none. So even if the plaintiff couples all get their licenses before she returns to work (and last I knew, one same-sex couple of the four have not yet re-applied), any other couple in the USA can decide to have a destination wedding in Rowan County to find out if Kim Davis "directly or indirectly" tries to prevent their license from being issued.

    I think it's a safe bet someone will, and I reckon it's pretty likely Liberty Counsel will encourage their avatar to attempt to block it somehow. I think she's high as a kite on righteous "victory", and will gladly allow them to continue acting in her name, and then back to the pokey she'll go.

    Are we starting a betting pool on how long before she's in jail again? I'm going to say next Wednesday, Sept 16.

  • 37. Mike_Baltimore  |  September 9, 2015 at 10:36 am

    One same sex couple from Ohio has already tried, and failed, to get a marriage license from Rowan County, Kentucky. It was from before Ms. Davis was sent to jail by Judge Bunning. I'm sure they are waiting for Ms. Davis to be back at work, and will try again.

  • 38. 1grod  |  September 9, 2015 at 10:55 am

    Mike: And one license processed:

  • 39. sfbob  |  September 9, 2015 at 11:20 am

    Oh, I like this:

    "The commotion here irked a longtime resident of Rowan County when he came into Ms. Davis’s office to update his disabled parking permit.

    'Good God almighty,' DeWayne Barnett said when he walked into the office. 'Why don’t you all cover something worthwhile?'

    But he acknowledged that the debate swirling around the clerk’s office had affected him. He would never, he said, vote for Ms. Davis again."


  • 40. VIRick  |  September 8, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    España: La Primera Boda Gay de la Policía Nacional el Sabado Pasado
    (Spain’s National Police Saw its First Same-Sex Marriage between Officers on Saturday, 5 September 2015)

    Chema, a native of Jerez de la Frontera, and Jonathan, from Algeciras, formalized their five-year relationship in gala uniform at the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art, a prominent dressage center in Jerez – akin to the Spanish Riding School in Vienna.

    Read more (in English) here:… …

  • 41. VIRick  |  September 8, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    From Today, Changing Gender in Ireland Is as Simple as Renewing a Passport

    Ireland’s government has put its revolutionary new Gender Recognition Act into effect. Until now, the Republic of Ireland has provided no legal recognition for transgender people at all. But following a protracted legal battle with trans woman Dr Lydia Foy, the government committed to passing a trans recognition law.

    The bold new Gender Recognition Bill, which passed through Parliament in July without issue, includes sweeping changes to allow transgender people to gain legal recognition without seeing a doctor or requiring medical treatment. Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) Joan Burton signed a commencement order last week, giving the go-ahead for the law to come into today, Tuesday, 8 September 2015.

    This means that from today, trans people will be able to obtain Gender Recognition Certificates from the Irish Government, as well as amended birth certificates in their preferred name and gender. The form to apply for an Irish GRC is just two pages long, compared to other countries, where the process is often full of bureaucratic hurdles. The two-page form also compares to the five pages one would have to fill out to replace a missing pensions book.

    Ireland follows Argentina, Denmark, Malta and Colombia in allowing transgender people to self-determine outside of the medical process.

  • 42. scream4ever  |  September 8, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    Congrats to Fayetteville for rejecting hate and turning this around so fast!

  • 43. Zack12  |  September 9, 2015 at 12:47 am

    I give Kim Davis one day before she violates the order and ends up back in jail.
    She is enjoying her fame way too much to give in now.

  • 44. LK2013  |  September 9, 2015 at 5:25 am

    No kidding. Her lawyer said last night she was going to "take a few days off to be with her family" and return to work on "Friday or Monday."

    I'm sure they are hoping that any couples from the litigation who have not received their licenses will come in today or tomorrow, and the Deputies can issue the licenses. Then Kim can swoop back in with the moronic idea that all the same sex couples have gotten their licenses, and that problem is over.

    Based on her lawyer's threats yesterday, this is far from over. The men on either side of her (Mat Staver and Mike Huckabee) are also enjoying this way too much.

    Huckabee offering to go to jail for her? Really? When the hell did this become all about him?

    The usurpation of this idiotic megalomaniacal march toward theocracy by actual candidates for the US Presidency is truly disturbing.

  • 45. StraightDave  |  September 9, 2015 at 8:57 am

    For the politicians, it's all about getting your face on the news in a context where you think a lot of people will be watching, even if it's a train wreck. Anything is better than conceding the whole stage to Trump. Fortunately the top 6 theocrats (by my subjective measure) only add up to 18% total in the polls. Still a large number, if it were packaged in one individual. The fact that 18% of the GOP base want a theocrat of some flavor as Prez doesn't surprise me one little bit. Too small to really go anywhere. They've always been out there, but maybe not as visible or strident or nutty as this year. And the candidates seem to be sucking up much more, too. In the end, they'll all get laughed out of town.

  • 46. Sagesse  |  September 9, 2015 at 4:03 am

    Some tidbits I wasn't aware of… both Tony Perkins and Brian Brown spoke at the rally. And [Mat Staver] said Davis ran for the office of Rowan County Clerk at God’s “urging”. Oh please.

    Judge releases Kentucky clerk with instructions she should ‘not interfere’ [Keen News]

  • 47. sfbob  |  September 9, 2015 at 10:25 am

    "At God's urging." I guess that means her mom is God.

  • 48. guitaristbl  |  September 9, 2015 at 10:00 am

    One of her deputy clerks makes it clear he will issue licenses regardless if the lunatic newly found superstar orders the opposite :

    Also the band Survivor may sue her and her legal team for using "Eye of the tiger" during her "heroic" exit..

    What a pitiful circus..

  • 49. JayJonson  |  September 9, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    Maybe Judge Garcia needs to reschedule the contempt hearing for Texas Attorney General Paxton, who is still trying to fight Obergefell. Read more here:

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