Kim Davis Was Not The Only Kentucky County Clerk Who Refused To Issue Couples Marriage Licenses

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Casey Davis via MSNBC interview screen shot
Casey Davis via MSNBC interview screen shot

Kentucky was faced with another case of drama and failure to perform statutory duties and the federal courts. The Casey County Clerk announced that he would refuse to issue marriage licenses to couples who’s marriage he objects to.

The clerk, in a bit of irony, is named Casey Davis.

Davis insists that he has a duty to himself to violate state law but oddly he feels the Commonwealth should pay for an attorney to represent him.


Kentucky governor Steve Beshear in July granted an audience with Mr. Davis and thereafter ordered him to issue licenses to all couples regardless of their gender or resign. Defiantly, the county clerk stated, “I’m going to trust the Lord with all my heart, my position remains.”

Governor Beshear issued the following statement:

“This morning, I advised Mr. Davis that I respect his right to his own personal beliefs regarding same-sex marriages,” the Governor’s statement reads. “However, when he was elected, he took a constitutional oath to uphold the United States Constitution. According to the United States Supreme Court, the Constitution now requires that governmental officials in Kentucky and elsewhere must recognize same-sex marriages as valid and allow them to take place. One of Mr. Davis’ duties as county court clerk is to issue marriage licenses, and the Supreme Court now says that the United States Constitution requires those marriage licenses to be issued regardless of gender. Mr. Davis’ own county attorney has advised him that his oath requires him to do so.”

Here is a video of Mr. Davis speaking before supporters:

By Darren Smith


The New Civil Rights Movement
MSNBC Photo Credit

The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.

306 thoughts on “Kim Davis Was Not The Only Kentucky County Clerk Who Refused To Issue Couples Marriage Licenses”


    ACLU Says Kim Davis Is “Interfering” With Deputy Clerks, Seeks Court Action

    “By modifying marriage licenses, Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis is issuing licenses that may be invalid and interfering with her staff, which would violate the court’s orders, the couples’ lawyers argue in a motion filed Monday.

    Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis interfered with her deputy clerks by altering marriage licenses after she was released from jail for contempt of court, according to a court filing Monday by four Kentucky couples represented by the ACLU.”

    1. Annie, do you not see in that BuzzFeed article the hatred from homosexuals toward Kim Davis? They don’t just want marriage licenses issued. They want to make sure that Kim Davis violates her conscience. They want to ruin her religious convictions and her relationship with her God. This entire mess is caused by the Obergefell decision, and it will get worse as people of faith realize that they cannot obey both their God and their government. As that happens, government will prosecute people of faith based upon their philosophy of equality, their philosophy of anti-discrimination against sexual immorality, and their philosophy of freedom from religion. Welcome to the new world order.

    2. Annie’s link (ACLU Says Kim Davis Is “Interfering” With Deputy Clerks, Seeks Court Action) leaves me with two thoughts:

      1) Why the State of Kentucky is not stepping in to prevent alteration of the licenses and the associated stigma and perhaps even the invalidity of the licenses is a statement per se. And,

      2) The importance of the federal courts in what would otherwise be social devolution reflects that the Federalists at the time of ratification of the Constitution were justified in seeking a strong centralized government particularly with respect to social issues.

      1. stevegroen wrote: “1) Why the State of Kentucky is not stepping in to prevent alteration of the licenses and the associated stigma and perhaps even the invalidity of the licenses is a statement per se.”

        The Kentucky legislature reconvenes in a little over three months. Kim Davis was asking the federal court to allow her office the time needed to wait until the legislature could take care of these issues of her name being on the form authorizing what her God considers to be illegal unions. When the federal court declined to wait, she asked the federal court to authorize the changes in the forms. The federal court declined to do so, obviously because marriage is not under their jurisdiction. They do not have the authority to do it. The problem is that the homosexuals can’t wait 3 months, and the federal officials can’t seem to wait either. No tolerance for religious convictions; no patience to allow the legal changes in light of Obergefell to take place.

        stevegroen wrote: “2) The importance of the federal courts in what would otherwise be social devolution reflects that the Federalists at the time of ratification of the Constitution were justified in seeking a strong centralized government particularly with respect to social issues.”

        Interesting, because I see it just the opposite. If the federal government was not forcing its will about marriage on the States, especially without giving any other branches of government time to review their opinion, none of this chaos would have happened. The federal court that issued the contempt order actually acted illegally. The Constitution does not give the authority to the federal government to define and regulate marriage. The federal court basically ordered Kim Davis to violate State law, which says the following:

        402.020 Other prohibited marriages.
        (1) Marriage is prohibited and void:
        (a) With a person who has been adjudged mentally disabled by a court of
        competent jurisdiction;
        (b) Where there is a husband or wife living, from whom the person marrying has
        not been divorced;
        (c) When not solemnized or contracted in the presence of an authorized person or
        (d) Between members of the same sex;
        (e) Between more than two (2) persons; and
        (f) 1. Except as provided in subparagraph 3. of this paragraph, when at the
        time of the marriage, the person is under sixteen (16) years of age;

        It is notable that Kim Davis was jailed under civil contempt, not criminal contempt. To date, Kim Davis has not been charged with any crime because she has broken no laws. She is simply the focus of hatred of homophiles and the federal courts are acting lawlessly.

        1. David, it’s not the Kentucky legislature that should be stepping in but the Kentucky Attorney General to stop her from tampering with marriage licenses. Next you’ll be writing that she would do no harm by placing an “LGBT” asterick on licenses

          You write: “The Constitution does not give the authority to the federal government to define and regulate marriage.” Ah, but it certainly gives the federal government the authority to interpret due process and equal protection.

          It’s rather not notable that she was cited for civil contempt. Civil contempt gives her the key to her cell door, when she decides to follow the law, which is why she was released.

          Federalism in constutiional terms is an important concept on social issues, and among many others from Oval Faubus and the Little Rock Nine to Miranda warnings and 1983 suits to your right to reside in any State you like.

          1. stevegroen wrote: “… it’s not the Kentucky legislature that should be stepping in but the Kentucky Attorney General to stop her from tampering with marriage licenses.”

            How can you be so cruel? The State government should not force Kim Davis to denounce her God and violate her faith. Her mind should remain free in its convictions. If the government is going to force people to violate God’s laws, then it should at least make reasonable accommodations such as removing the imprimatur of the names of individuals from those documents which give license to the violations.

            stevegroen wrote: “but it certainly gives the federal government the authority to interpret due process and equal protection.”

            Yes it does, but as several of the Justices pointed out in Obergefell, the majority failed to show how either due process or equal protection were violated.

            Justice Roberts argues forcefully against due process or equal protection being violated:
            Petitioners first contend that the marriage laws of their States violate the Due Process Clause. The Solicitor General of the United States, appearing in support of petitioners, expressly disowned that position before this Court. See Tr. of Oral Arg. on Question 1, at 38–39. The majority nevertheless resolves these cases for petitioners based almost entirely on the Due Process Clause.

            The majority purports to identify four “principles and traditions” in this Court’s due process precedents that support a fundamental right for same-sex couples to marry. Ante, at 12. In reality, however, the majority’s approach has no basis in principle or tradition, except for the unprincipled tradition of judicial policymaking that characterized discredited decisions such as Lochner v. New York, 198 U. S. 45. Stripped of its shiny rhetorical gloss, the majority’s argument is that the Due Process Clause gives same-sex couples a fundamental right to marry because it will be good for them and for society. If I were a legislator, I would certainly consider that view as a matter of social policy. But as a judge, I find the majority’s position indefensible as a matter of constitutional law.

            Petitioners’ “fundamental right” claim falls into the most sensitive category of constitutional adjudication. Petitioners do not contend that their States’ marriage laws violate an enumerated constitutional right, such as the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment. There is, after all, no “Companionship and Understanding” or “Nobility and Dignity” Clause in the Constitution. See ante, at 3, 14. They argue instead that the laws violate a right implied by the Fourteenth Amendment’s requirement that “liberty” may not be deprived without “due process of law.”This Court has interpreted the Due Process Clause to include a “substantive” component that protects certain liberty interests against state deprivation “no matter what process is provided.” Reno v. Flores, 507 U. S. 292, 302 (1993). The theory is that some liberties are “so rooted in the traditions and conscience of our people as to be ranked as fundamental,” and therefore cannot be deprived without compelling justification. Snyder v. Massachusetts, 291 U. S. 97, 105 (1934).

            Allowing unelected federal judges to select which unenumerated rights rank as “fundamental”—and to strike down state laws on the basis of that determination—raises obvious concerns about the judicial role. Our precedents have accordingly insisted that judges “exercise the utmost care” in identifying implied fundamental rights, “lest the liberty protected by the Due Process Clause be subtly transformed into the policy preferences of the Members of this Court.” Washington v. Glucksberg, 521 U. S. 702, 720 (1997) (internal quotation marks omitted); see Kennedy,Unenumerated Rights and the Dictates of Judicial Restraint 13 (1986) (Address at Stanford) (“One can conclude that certain essential, or fundamental, rights should exist in any just society. It does not follow that each of those essential rights is one that we as judges can enforce under the written Constitution. The Due Process Clause is not a guarantee of every right that should inhere in an ideal system.”).

            The need for restraint in administering the strong medicine of substantive due process is a lesson this Court has learned the hard way. The Court first applied substantive due process to strike down a statute in Dred Scott v. Sand-ford, 19 How. 393 (1857). There the Court invalidated the Missouri Compromise on the ground that legislation restricting the institution of slavery violated the implied rights of slaveholders. The Court relied on its own conception of liberty and property in doing so. It asserted that “an act of Congress which deprives a citizen of the UnitedStates of his liberty or property, merely because he came himself or brought his property into a particular Territory of the United States . . . could hardly be dignified with the name of due process of law.” Id., at 450. In a dissent that has outlasted the majority opinion, Justice Curtis explained that when the “fixed rules which govern the interpretation of laws [are] abandoned, and the theoretical opinions of individuals are allowed to control” the Constitution’s meaning, “we have no longer a Constitution; we are under the government of individual men, who for the time being have power to declare what the Constitution is,according to their own views of what it ought to mean.” Id., at 621.

            Dred Scott’s holding was overruled on the battlefields of the Civil War and by constitutional amendment after Appomattox, but its approach to the Due Process Clause reappeared. In a series of early 20th-century cases, most prominently Lochner v. New York, this Court invalidated state statutes that presented “meddlesome interferences with the rights of the individual,” and “undue interference with liberty of person and freedom of contract.” 198 U. S., at 60, 61. In Lochner itself, the Court struck down a New York law setting maximum hours for bakery employees, because there was “in our judgment, no reasonable foundation for holding this to be necessary or appropriate as a health law.” Id., at 58.

            The dissenting Justices in Lochner explained that the New York law could be viewed as a reasonable response to legislative concern about the health of bakery employees,an issue on which there was at least “room for debate and for an honest difference of opinion.” Id., at 72 (opinion of Harlan, J.). The majority’s contrary conclusion required adopting as constitutional law “an economic theory which a large part of the country does not entertain.” Id., at 75 (opinion of Holmes, J.). As Justice Holmes memorably put it, “The Fourteenth Amendment does not enact Mr. Herbert Spencer’s Social Statics,” a leading work on the philosophy of Social Darwinism. Ibid. The Constitution “is not intended to embody a particular economic theory . . . . It is made for people of fundamentally differing views, and the accident of our finding certain opinions natural and familiar or novel and even shocking ought not to conclude our judgment upon the question whether statutes embodying them conflict with the Constitution.” Id., at 75–76.

            In the decades after Lochner, the Court struck down nearly 200 laws as violations of individual liberty, often over strong dissents contending that “[t]he criterion of constitutionality is not whether we believe the law to be for the public good.” Adkins v. Children’s Hospital of D. C., 261 U. S. 525, 570 (1923) (opinion of Holmes, J.). By empowering judges to elevate their own policy judgments to the status of constitutionally protected “liberty,” the Lochner line of cases left “no alternative to regarding the court as a . . . legislative chamber.” L. Hand, The Bill of Rights 42 (1958).

            Eventually, the Court recognized its error and vowed not to repeat it. “The doctrine that . . . due process authorizes courts to hold laws unconstitutional when they believe the legislature has acted unwisely,” we later explained,“has long since been discarded. We have returned to the original constitutional proposition that courts do not substitute their social and economic beliefs for the judgment of legislative bodies, who are elected to pass laws.” Ferguson v. Skrupa, 372 U. S. 726, 730 (1963); see Day-Brite Lighting, Inc. v. Missouri, 342 U. S. 421, 423 (1952) (“we do not sit as a super-legislature to weigh the wisdom of legislation”). Thus, it has become an accepted rule that the Court will not hold laws unconstitutional simply because we find them “unwise, improvident, or out of harmony with a particular school of thought.” Williamson v. Lee Optical of Okla., Inc., 348 U. S. 483, 488 (1955).

            Rejecting Lochner does not require disavowing the doctrine of implied fundamental rights, and this Court has not done so. But to avoid repeating Lochner’s error of converting personal preferences into constitutional mandates, our modern substantive due process cases have stressed the need for “judicial self-restraint.” Collins v. Harker Heights, 503 U. S. 115, 125 (1992). Our precedents have required that implied fundamental rights be “objectively, deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition,” and “implicit in the concept of ordered liberty, such that neither liberty nor justice would exist if they were sacrificed.” Glucksberg, 521 U. S., at 720–721 (internal quotation marks omitted).

            Although the Court articulated the importance of history and tradition to the fundamental rights inquiry most precisely in Glucksberg, many other cases both before and after have adopted the same approach. See, e.g., District Attorney’s Office for Third Judicial Dist. v. Osborne, 557 U. S. 52, 72 (2009); Flores, 507 U. S., at 303; United States v. Salerno, 481 U. S. 739, 751 (1987); Moore v. East Cleveland, 431 U. S. 494, 503 (1977) (plurality opinion); see also id., at 544 (White, J., dissenting) (“The Judiciary, including this Court, is the most vulnerable and comes nearestto illegitimacy when it deals with judge-made constitutional law having little or no cognizable roots in the language or even the design of the Constitution.”); Troxel v. Granville, 530 U. S. 57, 96–101 (2000) (KENNEDY, J., dissenting) (consulting “‘[o]ur Nation’s history, legal traditions, and practices’” and concluding that “[w]e owe it to the Nation’s domestic relations legal structure . . . to proceed with caution” (quoting Glucksberg, 521 U. S., at 721)).

            Proper reliance on history and tradition of course requires looking beyond the individual law being challenged, so that every restriction on liberty does not supply its own constitutional justification. The Court is right about that. Ante, at 18. But given the few “guideposts for responsible decisionmaking in this unchartered area,” Collins, 503 U. S., at 125, “an approach grounded in history imposes limits on the judiciary that are more meaningful than any based on [an] abstract formula,” Moore, 431 U. S., at 504,
            n. 12 (plurality opinion). Expanding a right suddenly and dramatically is likely to require tearing it up from its roots. Even a sincere profession of “discipline” in identifying fundamental rights, ante, at 10–11, does not provide a meaningful constraint on a judge, for “what he is really likely to be ‘discovering,’ whether or not he is fully aware of it, are his own values,” J. Ely, Democracy and Distrust 44 (1980). The only way to ensure restraint in this delicate enterprise is “continual insistence upon respect for the teachings of history, solid recognition of the basic values that underlie our society, and wise appreciation of the great roles [of] the doctrines of federalism and separation of powers.” Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U. S. 479, 501 (1965) (Harlan, J., concurring in judgment).

            B The majority acknowledges none of this doctrinal background, and it is easy to see why: Its aggressive application of substantive due process breaks sharply with decades of precedent and returns the Court to the unprincipled approach of Lochner.

            The majority’s driving themes are that marriage is desirable and petitioners desire it. The opinion describes the “transcendent importance” of marriage and repeatedly insists that petitioners do not seek to “demean,” “devalue,”“denigrate,” or “disrespect” the institution. Ante, at 3, 4, 6, 28. Nobody disputes those points. Indeed, the compelling personal accounts of petitioners and others like them are likely a primary reason why many Americans have changed their minds about whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry. As a matter of constitutional law, however, the sincerity of petitioners’ wishes is not relevant.
            When the majority turns to the law, it relies primarily on precedents discussing the fundamental “right to marry.” Turner v. Safley, 482 U. S. 78, 95 (1987); Zablocki, 434 U. S., at 383; see Loving, 388 U. S., at 12. These cases do not hold, of course, that anyone who wants to get married has a constitutional right to do so. They instead require a State to justify barriers to marriage as that institution has always been understood. In Loving, the Court held that racial restrictions on the right to marry lacked a compelling justification. In Zablocki, restrictions based on child support debts did not suffice. In Turner, restrictions based on status as a prisoner were deemed impermissible.
            None of the laws at issue in those cases purported to change the core definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman. The laws challenged in Zablocki and Turner did not define marriage as “the union of a man and a woman, where neither party owes child support or is in prison.” Nor did the interracial marriage ban at issue in Loving define marriage as “the union of a man and a woman of the same race.” See Tragen, Comment, Statutory Prohibitions Against Interracial Marriage, 32 Cal.
            L. Rev. 269 (1944) (“at common law there was no ban on interracial marriage”); post, at 11–12, n. 5 (THOMAS, J., dissenting). Removing racial barriers to marriage therefore did not change what a marriage was any more than integrating schools changed what a school was. As the majority admits, the institution of “marriage” discussed in every one of these cases “presumed a relationship involving opposite-sex partners.” Ante, at 11.

            In short, the “right to marry” cases stand for the important but limited proposition that particular restrictions on access to marriage as traditionally defined violate due process. These precedents say nothing at all about a right to make a State change its definition of marriage, which is the right petitioners actually seek here. See Windsor, 570 U. S., at ___ (ALITO, J., dissenting) (slip op., at 8) (“What Windsor and the United States seek . . . is not the protection of a deeply rooted right but the recognition of a very new right.”). Neither petitioners nor the majority cites a single case or other legal source providing any basis for such a constitutional right. None exists, and that is enough to foreclose their claim.

            But a Justice’s commission does not confer any special moral, philosophical, or social insight sufficient to justify imposing those perceptions on fellow citizens under the pretense of “due process.” There is indeed a process due the people on issues of this sort—the democratic process. Respecting that understanding requires the Court to be guided by law, not any particular school of social thought. As Judge Henry Friendly once put it, echoing Justice Holmes’s dissent in Lochner, the Fourteenth Amendment does not enact John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty any more than it enacts Herbert Spencer’s Social Statics. See Randolph, Before Roe v. Wade: Judge Friendly’s Draft Abortion Opinion, 29 Harv. J. L. & Pub.Pol’y 1035, 1036–1037, 1058 (2006). And it certainly does not enact any one concept of marriage.

            The majority’s understanding of due process lays out a tantalizing vision of the future for Members of this Court: If an unvarying social institution enduring over all of recorded history cannot inhibit judicial policymaking, what can? But this approach is dangerous for the rule of law. The purpose of insisting that implied fundamental rights have roots in the history and tradition of our people is to ensure that when unelected judges strike down democratically enacted laws, they do so based on something more than their own beliefs. The Court today not only overlooks our country’s entire history and tradition but actively repudiates it, preferring to live only in the heady days of the here and now. I agree with the majority that the “nature of injustice is that we may not always see it in our own times.” Ante, at 11. As petitioners put it, “times can blind.” Tr. of Oral Arg. on Question 1, at 9, 10. But to blind yourself to history is both prideful and unwise. “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” W. Faulkner, Requiem for a Nun 92 (1951).

            In addition to their due process argument, petitioners contend that the Equal Protection Clause requires their States to license and recognize same-sex marriages. The majority does not seriously engage with this claim. Its discussion is, quite frankly, difficult to follow. The central point seems to be that there is a “synergy between” the Equal Protection Clause and the Due Process Clause, and that some precedents relying on one Clause have also relied on the other. Ante, at 20. Absent from this portion of the opinion, however, is anything resembling our usual framework for deciding equal protection cases. It is casebook doctrine that the “modern Supreme Court’s treatment of equal protection claims has used a means-ends methodology in which judges ask whether the classification the government is using is sufficiently related to the goals it is pursuing.” G. Stone, L. Seidman, C. Sunstein, M. Tushnet, & P. Karlan, Constitutional Law 453 (7th ed.
            2013). The majority’s approach today is different: “Rights implicit in liberty and rights secured by equal protection may rest on different precepts and are not always co-extensive, yet in some instances each maybe instructive as to the meaning and reach of the other. In any particular case one Clause may be thought to capture the essence of the right in a more accurate and comprehensive way, even as the two Clauses may converge in the identification and definition of the right.” Ante, at 19. The majority goes on to assert in conclusory fashion that the Equal Protection Clause provides an alternative basis for its holding. Ante, at 22. Yet the majority fails to provide even a single sentence explaining how the Equal Protection Clause supplies independent weight for its position, nor does it attempt to justify its gratuitous violation of the canon against unnecessarily resolving constitutional questions. See Northwest Austin Municipal Util. Dist. No. One v. Holder, 557 U. S. 193, 197 (2009). In any event, the marriage laws at issue here do not violate the Equal Protection Clause, because distinguishing between opposite-sex and same-sex couples is rationally related to the States’ “legitimate state interest” in “preserving the traditional institution of marriage.” Lawrence, 539 U. S., at 585 (O’Connor, J., concurring in judgment).

            Justice Scalia also concurs that no right to gay marriage is found in the due process or equal protection clause:
            When the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified in 1868, every State limited marriage to one man and one woman, and no one doubted the constitutionality of doing so. That resolves these cases. When it comes to determining the meaning of a vague constitutional provision—such as “due process of law” or “equal protection of the laws”—it is unquestionable that the People who ratified that provision did not understand it to prohibit a practice that remained both universal and uncontroversial in the years after ratification.12 We have no basis for striking down a practice that is not expressly prohibited by the Fourteenth Amendment’s text, and that bears the endorsement of a long tradition of open, widespread, and unchallenged use dating back to the Amendment’s ratification. Since there is no doubt whatever that the People never decided to prohibit the limitation of marriage to opposite-sex couples, the public debate over same-sex marriage must be allowed to continue.

            But the Court ends this debate, in an opinion lacking even a thin veneer of law. Buried beneath the mummeries and straining-to-be-memorable passages of the opinion is a candid and startling assertion: No matter what it was the People ratified, the Fourteenth Amendment protects those rights that the Judiciary, in its “reasoned judgment,”thinks the Fourteenth Amendment ought to protect.

            … rather than focusing on the People’s understanding of “liberty”—at the time of ratification or even today—the majority focuses on four“principles and traditions” that, in the majority’s view, prohibit States from defining marriage as an institution consisting of one man and one woman.

            This is a naked judicial claim to legislative—indeed, super-legislative—power; a claim fundamentally at odds with our system of government. Except as limited by a constitutional prohibition agreed to by the People, the States are free to adopt whatever laws they like, even those that offend the esteemed Justices’ “reasoned judgment.” A system of government that makes the People subordinate to a committee of nine unelected lawyers does not deserve to be called a democracy.

            Judges are selected precisely for their skill as lawyers;whether they reflect the policy views of a particular constituency is not (or should not be) relevant. Not surprisingly then, the Federal Judiciary is hardly a cross-section consists of only nine men and women, all of them successful lawyers who studied at Harvard or Yale Law School. Four of the nine are natives of New York City. Eight of them grew up in east- and west-coast States. Only one hails from the vast expanse in-between. Not a single South-westerner or even, to tell the truth, a genuine Westerner(California does not count). Not a single evangelical Christian (a group that comprises about one quarter of Americans), or even a Protestant of any denomination. The strikingly unrepresentative character of the body voting on today’s social upheaval would be irrelevant if they were functioning as judges, answering the legal question whether the American people had ever ratified a constitutional provision that was understood to proscribe the traditional definition of marriage. But of course the Justices in today’s majority are not voting on that basis; they say they are not. And to allow the policy question of same-sex marriage to be considered and resolved by a select, patrician, highly unrepresentative panel of nine is to violate a principle even more fundamental than no taxation without representation: no social transformation without representation.

            But what really astounds is the hubris reflected in today’s judicial Putsch. The five Justices who compose today’s majority are entirely comfortable concluding that every State violated the Constitution for all of the 135 years between the Fourteenth Amendment’s ratification and Massachusetts’ permitting of same-sex marriages in 2003.20 They have discovered in the Fourteenth Amendment a “fundamental right” overlooked by every person alive at the time of ratification, and almost everyone else in the time since. They see what lesser legal minds—minds like Thomas Cooley, John Marshall Harlan, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., Learned Hand, Louis Brandeis, William Howard Taft, Benjamin Cardozo, Hugo Black, Felix Frankfurter, Robert Jackson, and Henry Friendly—could not. They are certain that the People ratified the Fourteenth Amendment to bestow on them the power to remove questions from the democratic process when that is called for by their “reasoned judgment.” These Justices know that limiting marriage to one man and one woman is contrary to reason; they know that an institution as old as government itself, and accepted by every nation in history until 15 years ago,21 cannot possibly be supported by anything other than ignorance or bigotry. And they are willing to say that any citizen who does not agree with that, who adheres to what was, until 15 years ago, the unanimous judgment of all generations and all societies,stands against the Constitution.

            The opinion is couched in a style that is as pretentious as its content is egotistic. It is one thing for separate concurring or dissenting opinions to contain extravagances, even silly extravagances, of thought and expression; it is something else for the official opinion of the Court to do so. Of course the opinion’s showy profundities are often profoundly incoherent. “The nature of marriage is that,through its enduring bond, two persons together can find other freedoms, such as expression, intimacy, and spirituality.”23 (Really? Who ever thought that intimacy and spirituality [whatever that means] were freedoms? And if intimacy is, one would think Freedom of Intimacy is abridged rather than expanded by marriage. Ask the nearest hippie. Expression, sure enough, is a freedom, but anyone in a long-lasting marriage will attest that that happy state constricts, rather than expands, what one can prudently say.) Rights, we are told, can “rise . . . from a better informed understanding of how constitutional imperatives define a liberty that remains urgent in our own era.”24 (Huh? How can a better informed understanding of how constitutional imperatives [whatever that means] define [whatever that means] an urgent liberty [never mind], give birth to a right?) And we are told that, “[i]n any particular case,” either the Equal Protection or Due Process Clause “may be thought to capture the essence of [a] right in a more accurate and comprehensive way,” than the other, “even as the two Clauses may converge in the identification and definition of the right.”25 (What say? What possible “essence” does substantive due process “capture” in an “accurate and comprehensive way”? It stands for nothing whatever, except those freedoms and entitlements that this Court really likes. And the Equal Protection Clause, as employed today, identifies nothing except a difference in treatment that this Court really dislikes. Hardly a distillation of essence. If the opinion is correct that the two clauses “converge in the identification and definition of [a] right,” that is only because the majority’s likes and dislikes are predictably compatible.) I could go on. The world does not expect logic and precision in poetry or inspirational pop-philosophy; it demands them in the law. The stuff contained in today’s opinion has to diminish this Court’s reputation for clear thinking and sober analysis.

            Hubris is sometimes defined as o’erweening pride; and pride, we know, goeth before a fall. The Judiciary is the“least dangerous” of the federal branches because it has“neither Force nor Will, but merely judgment; and must ultimately depend upon the aid of the executive arm” and the States, “even for the efficacy of its judgments.”26 With each decision of ours that takes from the People a question properly left to them—with each decision that is unabashedly based not on law, but on the “reasoned judgment” of a bare majority of this Court—we move one step closer to being reminded of our impotence.

            Thomas concurs about the problem of “due process” as used by the majority on the court:
            The majority’s decision today will require States to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and to recognize same-sex marriages entered in other States largely based on a constitutional provision guaranteeing “due process”before a person is deprived of his “life, liberty, or property.” I have elsewhere explained the dangerous fiction of treating the Due Process Clause as a font of substantive rights. McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U. S. 742, 811–812 (2010) (THOMAS, J., concurring in part and concurring in judgment). It distorts the constitutional text, which guarantees only whatever “process” is “due” before a person is deprived of life, liberty, and property. U. S. Const., Amdt. 14, §1. Worse, it invites judges to do exactly what the majority has done here—“‘roa[m] at large in the constitutional field’ guided only by their personal views” as to the “‘fundamental rights’” protected by that document. Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey, 505 U. S. 833, 953, 965 (1992) (Rehnquist, C. J., concurring in judgment in part and dissenting in part) (quoting Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U. S. 479, 502 (1965) (Harlan, J.,concurring in judgment)). By straying from the text of the Constitution, substantive due process exalts judges at the expense of the People from whom they derive their authority. Petitioners argue that by enshrining the traditional definition of marriage in their State Constitutions through voter-approved amendments, the States have put the issue “beyond the reach of the normal democratic process.” Brief for Petitioners in No. 14–562, p. 54. But the result petitioners seek is far less democratic. They ask nine judges on this Court to enshrine their definition of marriage in the Federal Constitution and thus put it beyond the reach of the normal democratic process for the entire Nation. That a “bare majority” of this Court, ante, at 25, is able to grant this wish, wiping out with a stroke of the keyboard the results of the political process in over 30 States, based on a provision that guarantees only “due process” is but further evidence of the danger of substantive due process.

            Justice Alito argues that due process is being abused to hurt individual conscience and that the Constitution has been violated by the majority:
            Until the federal courts intervened, the American people were engaged in a debate about whether their States should recognize same-sex marriage. The question in these cases, however, is not what States should do about same-sex marriage but whether the Constitution answers that question for them. It does not. The Constitution leaves that question to be decided by the people of each State.

            The Constitution says nothing about a right to same-sex marriage, but the Court holds that the term “liberty” in the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment encompasses this right. Our Nation was founded upon the principle that every person has the unalienable right to liberty, but liberty is a term of many meanings. For classical liberals, it may include economic rights now limited by government regulation. For social democrats, it may include the right to a variety of government benefits. For today’s majority, it has a distinctively postmodern meaning.To prevent five unelected Justices from imposing theirpersonal vision of liberty upon the American people, the Court has held that “liberty” under the Due Process Clause should be understood to protect only those rights that are “‘deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition.’” Washington v. Glucksberg, 521 U. S. 701, 720–721 (1997). And it is beyond dispute that the right to same-sex marriage is not among those rights. See United States v. Windsor, 570 U. S. ___, ___ (2013) (ALITO, J., dissenting)(slip op., at 7). Indeed: “In this country, no State permitted same-sex marriage until the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held in 2003 that limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples violated the State Constitution. See Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, 440 Mass. 309, 798 N. E. 2d 941. Nor is the right to same-sex marriage deeply rooted in the traditions of other nations. No country allowed same-sex couples to marry until the Netherlands did so in 2000.

            “What [those arguing in favor of a constitutional right to same sex marriage] seek, therefore, is not the protection of a deeply rooted right but the recognition of a very new right, and they seek this innovation not from a legislative body elected by the people, but from unelected judges. Faced with such a request, judges have cause for both caution and humility.” Id., at ___ (slip op., at 7–8) (footnote omitted).

            For today’s majority, it does not matter that the right to same-sex marriage lacks deep roots or even that it is contrary to long-established tradition. The Justices in the majority claim the authority to confer constitutional protection upon that right simply because they believe that it is fundamental.

            Attempting to circumvent the problem presented by the newness of the right found in these cases, the majority claims that the issue is the right to equal treatment.Noting that marriage is a fundamental right, the majority argues that a State has no valid reason for denying that right to same-sex couples. This reasoning is dependent upon a particular understanding of the purpose of civil marriage. Although the Court expresses the point in loftier terms, its argument is that the fundamental purpose of marriage is to promote the well-being of those who choose to marry. Marriage provides emotional fulfillment and the promise of support in times of need. And by benefiting persons who choose to wed, marriage indirectly benefits society because persons who live in stable, fulfilling, and supportive relationships make better citizens. It is for these reasons, the argument goes, that States encourage and formalize marriage, confer special benefits on married persons, and also impose some special obligations. This understanding of the States’ reasons for recognizing marriage enables the majority to argue that same-sex marriage serves the States’ objectives in the same way as opposite-sex marriage.

            This understanding of marriage, which focuses almost entirely on the happiness of persons who choose to marry,is shared by many people today, but it is not the traditional one. For millennia, marriage was inextricably linked to the one thing that only an opposite-sex couple can do: procreate.

            Adherents to different schools of philosophy use different terms to explain why society should formalize marriage and attach special benefits and obligations to persons who marry. Here, the States defending their adherence to the traditional understanding of marriage have explained their position using the pragmatic vocabulary that characterizes most American political discourse.Their basic argument is that States formalize and promote marriage, unlike other fulfilling human relationships, in order to encourage potentially procreative conduct to take place within a lasting unit that has long been thought to provide the best atmosphere for raising children. They thus argue that there are reasonable secular grounds for restricting marriage to opposite-sex couples.

            If this traditional understanding of the purpose of marriage does not ring true to all ears today, that is probably because the tie between marriage and procreation has frayed. Today, for instance, more than 40% of all children in this country are born to unmarried women. This development undoubtedly is both a cause and a result of changes in our society’s understanding of marriage.

            While, for many, the attributes of marriage in 21st century America have changed, those States that do not want to recognize same-sex marriage have not yet given up on the traditional understanding. They worry that by officially abandoning the older understanding, they may contribute to marriage’s further decay. It is far beyond the outer reaches of this Court’s authority to say that a State may not adhere to the understanding of marriage that has long prevailed, not just in this country and others with similar cultural roots, but also in a great variety of countries and cultures all around the globe.

            Today’s decision usurps the constitutional right of the people to decide whether to keep or alter the traditional understanding of marriage. The decision will also have other important consequences.It will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling toassent to the new orthodoxy. In the course of its opinion,the majority compares traditional marriage laws to laws that denied equal treatment for African-Americans and women. E.g., ante, at 11–13. The implications of this analogy will be exploited by those who are determined to stamp out every vestige of dissent.

            Perhaps recognizing how its reasoning may be used, the majority attempts, toward the end of its opinion, to reassure those who oppose same-sex marriage that their rights of conscience will be protected. Ante, at 26–27. We will soon see whether this proves to be true. I assume that those who cling to old beliefs will be able to whisper their thoughts in the recesses of their homes, but if they repeat those views in public, they will risk being labeled as bigots and treated as such by governments, employers, and schools.

            The system of federalism established by our Constitution provides a way for people with different beliefs to live together in a single nation. If the issue of same-sex marriage had been left to the people of the States, it is likely that some States would recognize same-sex marriage and others would not. It is also possible that some States would tie recognition to protection for conscience rights.The majority today makes that impossible. By imposing its own views on the entire country, the majority facilitates the marginalization of the many Americans who have traditional ideas. Recalling the harsh treatment of gays and lesbians in the past, some may think that turn- about is fair play. But if that sentiment prevails, the Nation will experience bitter and lasting wounds.

            Today’s decision will also have a fundamental effect on this Court and its ability to uphold the rule of law. If a bare majority of Justices can invent a new right and impose that right on the rest of the country, the only real limit on what future majorities will be able to do is their own sense of what those with political power and cultural influence are willing to tolerate. Even enthusiastic supporters of same-sex marriage should worry about the scope of the power that today’s majority claims.

            Today’s decision shows that decades of attempts to restrain this Court’s abuse of its authority have failed.

            1. David, I’m a lefty. That’s why I’m so cruel. Everyone knows that lefties just want to steal your assets and passive income, and then get a disabled placard. We can’t all side with Pat Robertson by wishing “God” would take out Obama.

              As for the minority in Obergefell, I’m not so convinced the basis of the decision was the correct one although the result was correct. Gender discrimination has always had mid-level scrutiny in terms of equal protection under the federal Constitution. That’s always been the limitation. Not following the Court or constitutional law very closely because of time constraints and craft beer, my feeling is that Justice Kennedy was unwilling to agree with striking down the law without the basis being substantive due process. I could be wrong and I’d enjoy being corrected. If it were my kingdom, gender discrimination on the federal level would mirror the California Constitution and would be afforded the highest constitutional scrutiny. That’s a no-brainer.

              As for the Chief Justice, wasn’t the one who said the tax on an individual’s failure to maintain an insurance policy pursuant to the Affordable Care Act case wasn’t a penalty?

              And with regard to Justice Scalia, I get tired of his obiter dictum in lieu of following case law. He wants the Constitution interpreted as though we’re still using ball and cap to fire at tricornered hats. That’s his agenda, and I can accept it. What I cannot fathom apart from his unrestrained ego is that he doesn’t follow precedent when it suits his needs.

              As for unanimous decisions being the only correct ones, Citizens United v. FEC wasn’t unanimous either but I’d guess you’d think it was correctly decided. Zablocki v. Redhail and Lawrence v. Texas, also not unanimous, I think were correctly decided.

              Tell me this: if the State in which you live were to enact legislation that says there may be no marriages in this State beginning tomorrow, or if the State mandated you could only procreate with your pastor instructing you as though he’s your master in a Monty Python boarding school, do you really believe equal protection and/or due process wouldn’t be violated by such legislation?

          2. stevegroen wrote: “It’s rather not notable that she was cited for civil contempt. Civil contempt gives her the key to her cell door, when she decides to follow the law, which is why she was released.”

            That is not why she was released. She never conceded anything. The judge realized what he was doing was unreasonable and unconscionable and that it violated the rule of law. So he got clerks to agree to issue marriage licenses and then released her hoping she would not interfere.

            stevegroen wrote: “Federalism in constutiional terms is an important concept on social issues, and among many others from Oval Faubus and the Little Rock Nine to Miranda warnings and 1983 suits to your right to reside in any State you like.”

            I certainly acknowledge the role of federalism in these issues, but what you seem to be unable to grasp is that the people in this case were an oppressed people whose fight was on the side of conscience. Those fighting for integration were preachers of God, like Martin Luther King, Jr., standing up for their right of conscience. In contrast, gay marriage is not about civil rights. They are not on the side of conscience. They simply want government to give its stamp of approval on their sexual misconduct so they can use that as a weapon against those who disagree with their hedonistic philosophy. I suggest you read Justice Alito’s dissent in Obergefell. Justice Alito described what was coming in the future with Kim Davis in a very prophetic way.

            Obergefell will be overturned in time, or our government will end and be replaced with another. The dissenting Justices will be vindicated.

  2. She was put in jail for contempt of court. The contempt was based on her refusal to follow a court order not to discriminate against gay people by refusing to issue them a marriage license. David, seriously, how can you as an intelligent man get this so backwards?

    1. Annie wrote: “The contempt was based on her refusal to follow a court order not to discriminate against gay people by refusing to issue them a marriage license.”

      That is what you have been told, but it is not the truth. She never discriminated against gay people. She stopped issuing all marriage licenses until the legal matters could be settled. The federal court order was illegal in that it violated State laws based upon an erroneous Supreme Court decision. Like Martin Luther King taught us, unjust laws must be disobeyed. We have a duty to disobey unjust laws.

      Do you believe Martin Luther King?

      Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote: “How does one determine when a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law, or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas, an unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal and natural law.”

  3. Yet another Davis grandstanding and grabbing the spotlight in hopes of securing a lucrative book and movie deal. Most Americans are getting really tired of this circus.

  4. davidm
    “The legislative branch of government is supposed to write law based upon elected officials representing the people.”
    = = =
    And the checks and balance aspect of the American Justice System happened to rule that such laws banning SSM are unconstitutional. It’s an aspect of the Rule of Law. The Legislature crafts law, the President signs it in, and the Justices weigh matters according to crafted law. The U.S. Constitution being the baseline. 14th Amendment makes it so… Sorry that you hate the Constitution and the American Rule of Law, but that’s the breaks.

  5. davidm
    “She is abiding by the First Amendment.”
    = = =
    davidm, she is insisting that HER constituents abide by HER religion.
    Who, in Rowan County, is free FROM Kim Davis’ faith when she uses that faith to dictate the capacity the County will accommodate ALL who reside within it? davidm, I hardly think you’re dense. I happen to think you see the Constitution as an obstacle rather than the way…

  6. Annie,
    I’m penning a Love Letter to the GOP. It goes something like:

    Dear GOP,
    If this were a Muslim woman deciding that she won’t issue licences because of her Islamic faith, would over half of your candidates be in support of her Sharia Laws?

    But I’m having troubles with the Trump Line. Any ideas?

    1. Max-1 writes, “If this were a Muslim woman deciding that she won’t issue licences because of her Islamic faith, would over half of your candidates be in support of her Sharia Laws?”

      This drives home the fallacy of Kim Davis’s position. A public officer’s personal beliefs aren’t good enough to subordinate constitutional law at her discretion.

      1. stevegroen wrote: “A public officer’s personal beliefs aren’t good enough to subordinate constitutional law at her discretion.”

        As discussed in detail previously, violating personal belief is not the same as violating conscience. Atheists have a real hard time understanding the difference.

        Furthermore, there is no constitutional law she is violating. Name the Article or Amendment of the Constitutional law that she is violating if there is one. She is abiding by the First Amendment.

        1. The same-sex marriage cases clearly state differently, David. Marbury v. Madison was a correctly-decided case: someone other than the lawmakers must be the final arbiter of the federal Constitution; otherwise, representative government can change course on a whim and instability ensues.

          The First Amendment freedom of religion is a personal fundamental right that cannot be raised in the context of official duties as a public officer under substantive due process within the Fifth Amendment by incorporation doctrine and by way of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause, although I don’t agree with the Court that it wasn’t also a violation of equal protection per se. If Kim Davis doesn’t want to carry out the law, then she shouldn’t be a public officer. I’m confused: what don’t you understand here?

          Public officers must carry out the law, not personal beliefs or conscience, and ours is not ecclesiastical law because of the myriad of personal beliefs and perceptions of conscience. Rightfully so. So, again, what here don’t you understand?

          1. stevegroen wrote: “Marbury v. Madison was a correctly-decided case: someone other than the lawmakers must be the final arbiter of the federal Constitution.”

            Where did you get out of Marbury v. Madison that the Supreme Court was the final arbiter of the federal Constitution? Please show me that.

            Some 17 years after Marbury v. Madison, Jefferson wrote the following:

            “To consider the [Supreme Court] judges the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions [is] a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. They have, with others, the same passions for party, for power and . . . privilege. Their power is the more dangerous as they are in office for life and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control. The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal.” Thomas Jefferson, Letter to William Jarvis, Sept. 28, 1820

            What Marbury v. Madison established was the court’s authority and duty for judicial review. They certainly have the authority to apply the law and the Constitution to the Obergefell case, but they have no constitutional authority to define marriage for all the States. The law does not change the instant they make a single decision in a case. If it is taken as establishing precedence, it becomes common law, not statutory, but it does not become so defined by a single case.

            Interestingly, the Supreme Court in Marbury v. Madison did not order Madison to deliver the judicial appointment to Marbury. Do you know why? The court recognized their limited authority under Article III of the Constitution. If our present court had operated similarly, none of the judicial chaos that is going on now would be happening.

            stevegroen wrote: “otherwise, representative government can change course on a whim and instability ensues.”

            This happens when the Supreme Court acts capriciously without checks and balances too. That is why we see increased instability and chaos after the Obergefell decision. Now it is time for the executive and legislative branches to provide a check and rebuke the Supreme Court for acting beyond its constitutional authority.

            1. David writes, “What Marbury v. Madison established was the court’s authority and duty for judicial review.” Let me know how that differs from SCOTUS being the final arbiter of the federal Constitution. In fact, Marbury v. Madison was the first case to strike down a federal statute as unconstitutional. In other words, the Supreme Court has the last say as to the constitutionality of congressional and executive overreach. I know as much about that case as I need to know, thank you.

              The Jefferson quote confirms the fact that the Court took that view. As president, he could have overridden the third branch by coup had he wanted, but he refused to do what Andrew Jackson, another devout Christian and slaveholder, did thirty-odd years later with regard to the Indian law cases and the de facto extermination of a large portion of the Five Tribes.

              As to capricious opinions by SCOTUS, there was no instability whatsoever of government flowing from the same-sex marriage cases. Only a few lone proselytizers plead such an outcome.

              No matter how hard you try to disguise it, David, the basis of all of your arguments has been that this is a Christian nation, so be reasonable and do it the Christian way.

          2. stevegroen wrote: “The First Amendment freedom of religion is a personal fundamental right that cannot be raised in the context of official duties as a public officer…”

            Seems to me you are twisting the Constitution to make it say what YOU want it to say.

            First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

            Establishment Clause: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…”

            Paraphrased: The government will not make any law that favors one particular establishment of religion over another.

            Free Exercise Clause: “… or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

            Paraphrased: “Congress shall make no law … prohibiting the free exercise of any particular establishment of religion.”

            Now why would you want me to understand the Establishment Clause as applying to official duty of government officials, but then in regards to the Free Exercise Clause, you want to claim it pertains to a “personal” right? You are not being logically consistent. If the Establishment Clause pertains to official duties, then so also does the Free Exercise Clause. To read it otherwise is not logically consistent.

            1. David, I see the problem with your interpretation.

              Look in more detail at what you wrote: “Establishment Clause: ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…’ Paraphrased: The government will not make any law that favors one particular establishment of religion over another. . . . Free Exercise Clause: ‘… or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…’”

              Wrong. It’s not that the government will make no laws . . .prohibiting the free exercise thereof; it’s that “Congress” shall make no laws prohibiting the free exercise thereof. The Constitution is in and of itself our foundational law which provides for a Congress, let alone controls its limits, and the principle of substantive due process is inherent in it without further laws being made by Congress. So no law was made in the same-sex case because it already existed within the Constitution’s Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment.

              In a word (I have to go to work today), Kim Davis was not defying any act of Congress that limited her fundamental right to the free exercise of her religion. She was defying substantive due process under the Constitution, our foundational law. The Constitution isn’t an act of Congress, which has only limited authority to act under the law controlling all three branches and interpreted by the federal courts of which SCOTUS is the final arbiter. That’s a huge difference with regard to Ms. Davis’s First Amendment rights. In other words, nothing passed through Congress on its way to Ms. Davis’s violation of law. It was her direct violation of the federal Constitution, not congressional legislation or executive regulation, that had her hauled into federal court.

          3. stevegroen wrote: “Public officers must carry out the law, not personal beliefs or conscience, and ours is not ecclesiastical law because of the myriad of personal beliefs and perceptions of conscience.”

            First of all, the statutory law is being kept by Kim Davis and other clerks not issuing licenses. It is a Supreme Court decision that calls those laws into question. The problem is that neither the Supreme Court nor the governor make laws. Supreme Court decisions may create common law as different court decisions make clear how the law applies to specific cases, but no single court decision establishes law. The Court’s decision stands for the specific cases in Obergefell, but the Court lacks the authority to order the States to redefine marriage.

            Public officers have a DUTY to DISOBEY unlawful orders. We have a Supreme Court that made an unlawful decision for the sole purpose of legitimizing immoral sexual behavior that was a criminal offense in this nation just 15 years ago. The Court overstepped its Article III powers. The other branches of government and the people need to correct the Supreme Court on this issue. We cannot allow the Supreme Court to act in an unconstitutional way. Otherwise, we are not a nation of laws. No citizen of this nation has an obligation to obey unlawful orders.

  7. Max, wow. I cannot believe Kim Davis would be so stupid as to defy the Judges order to not interefer with her deputy clerks, but it now appears she has done just that. I wonder if she will be sitting back in jail in the next day or two. What nerve, removing the name of the county on the form. Who does she think she is, the county itself? She is doing this specifically to make the marriage certificates her deputies are issuing not legal. Kick her butt back to jail, post haste.

    519.060 Tampering with public records.
    (1) A person is guilty of tampering with public records when:
    (a) He knowingly makes a false entry in or falsely alters any public record; or
    (b) Knowing he lacks the authority to do so, he intentionally destroys, mutilates,
    conceals, removes, or otherwise impairs the availability of any public records;
    (c) Knowing he lacks the authority to retain it, he intentionally refuses to deliver
    up a public record in his possession upon proper request of a public servant
    lawfully entitled to receive such record for examination or other purposes.
    (2) Tampering with public records is a Class D felony.
    Effective: July 14, 1992
    History: Amended 1992 Ky. Acts ch. 16, sec. 1, effective July 14, 1992. — Created
    1974 Ky. Acts ch. 406, sec. 168, effective January 1, 1975.

  9. steve
    Oh no. Not meant that way. I was tagging onto the irony of the situation these States find themselves in if they seek to secede and military is brought in… that US Military will be headed up by a gay man soon. I say, let them run to the hills… Popping popcorn for the invasion. It literally is ROFLMAO time…

  10. With the talk of “Judicial Tyranny” the absence of any discussion concerning Impeaching Supreme Court Justices is deafening…

    1. Max-1: Did I come off as a hetero-only-military advocate? I hope not. I really don’t spend much time analyzing others’ sexuality. It’s no big deal to me. Neither is “God.”

  11. Alabama judge asks not to have to wed same-sex couples, rejects ‘license to engage in sodomy’

    Washington County Probate Judge Nick Williams on Wednesday afternoon asked the Alabama Supreme Court for an order that will protect him and others who refuse, based on their religious beliefs, to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

    The order would defy the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in June that legalized gay unions.

    Williams filed the petition for declaratory judgment or protective order in light of the recent jailing of a Kentucky clerk for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses.

    1. Rather presumptuous of the good judge to think he’s licensing sodomy. I guess Kentucky and Alabama will be seceding soon. Give priority to all gays of the 101st Airborne volunteering to be dropped as the first assault force into Rowan and Washington Counties.

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