Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Shorter Judge to KY Clerk: "(A) Do Yer Job, or (B) Go to Jail."

She chose Option B:

A defiant county clerk was sent to jail for contempt Thursday after insisting that her "conscience will not allow" her to follow a federal judge's orders to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.

"God's moral law conflicts with my job duties," Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis told U.S. District Judge David Bunning. "You can't be separated from something that's in your heart and in your soul."

The judge said she left him with no alternative but to jail her, since fines alone would not change her mind. A federal marshal escorted her, without handcuffs, out of the courtroom.
Anyone with even a passing familiarity with the way judges run their courts would have been surprised by any other outcome.

As for the other clerks:
The judge also told all five of the clerk's deputies, including her son, Nathan Davis, that they are free to issue licenses to all applicants while Davis is held in contempt, but would also face fines or jail if they refuse to comply. He told them to meet with lawyers and consider their fates before returning to his courtroom later Thursday to reveal their decisions.
Davis sought to impose her own version of Sharia Law on her little office. The judge wasn't having any of her bullshit.

And, not that it much mattered, but it turned out that Davis's adherence to the laws of her particular Dear and Fluffy Lord was a little bit squishy when it came to her behavior.


B said...


When ya takes the money, you does the job.

Got religious issues? with something in the job?

Quit. That simple.

I admire her fortitude, if not her motivation. But she should have quit....

I'm just surprised they actually jailed a Democrat....

Deadstick said...

She seems to have a dream of being the right-wing Rosa Parks...

Comrade Misfit said...

More like George Wallace. Except Wallace saw the light (in the form of Army troops with guns).

BadTux said...

While Chairwoman Kim sees no light in the form of U.S. Marshalls with handcuffs.

Actually, there was an option (C) given to Chairwoman Kim. In a hearing later in the day, the judge queried the assistant clerks as to why they hadn't signed marriage licenses. With the exception of Chairwoman Kim's son, they said it was because they'd been ordered not to do so upon penalty of firing if they did so. So the judge called back in Chairwoman Kim's lawyers and told them, "I'll release your client if she agrees to let her clerks sign marriage licenses." They conferred with their client and returned back to the judge and said, "She won't authorize her assistant clerks to sign the marriage licenses."

And then compounded it with Chairwoman Kim saying "Only God can judge me."

Which doesn't quite work in a court of law, LOL.

BadTux said...

Which brings me to this cool list of things NOT to say to a judge:

Ten things you don't say to a judge:

1. F*** you!
2. You're not the boss of me!
4. What, you're going to send me to bed without supper?
5. It's not my fault, it was just really bad drugs I was doing earlier!
6. My dog told me to do it.
7. You're pretty high and mighty for a man who wears a dress.
8. How much money do you want to find me not guilty?
9. Jesus made me do it!

And #10, guaranteed to get you free contempt of court charges:

10. You can't judge me! Only God can judge me!

Comrade Misfit said...

I haven't had to deal with that, but if I had a client spout off #10 in court, I'd go back to my office and file a motion to withdraw as counsel.

BadTux said...

Yet Chairwoman Kim's council not only didn't file such a motion, they repeated the statement approvingly in public outside the courtroom. I watched the circus today and it's as if Chairwoman Kim's council *wants* her to stay in jail. Everything they've stated in public seems calculated to demonstrate contempt for the judge.

If these people are representing the best interests of their client, I'm a dodo bird.

Glenn Kelley said...

If she wants to be a martyr then they are representing her best interests .

CenterPuke88 said...

The question becomes when does she stop getting paid? Assuming she is required to report to work to be paid (likely, but not certain), she's burning through her sick and personal days right now. After that, if she is absent, there just might be a way to remove her from office.

Glenn Kelley said...

So I was thinking if she denies her staff the right to sign a marriage license that they believe should be signed she puts herself in agreement with the judge that sentenced her .


BadTux said...

GK, that brings up the point of what is a lawyer's responsibility when the client is an idiot. If the client demands that the lawyer file a brief that will basically get her slammed into the slammer, should the lawyer a) attempt to dissuade the client, or b) encourage the client to illegally defy the court?

(a) is covered by ethics rules which require the attorney to abide by the client's wishes even when those wishes are unwise. But from everything I can tell, this set of lawyers is doing (b), encouraging the client in her foolhardy defiance of the court. Which, if this is in fact what they are doing (encouraging the client to break the law), it is at best an ethics breach worthy of a stiff note in the bar's professional conduct file for the lawyer, see Rule 1.2(d) of the ABA model rules of professional conduct. At worst it is professional malpractice that could get them disbarred depending on the rules and laws in the state of Kentucky.

CP88, apparently for elected officials in Kentucky you can spend all your time drunk at home and still collect your pay. And undoubtedly there are some elected officials in Kentucky who have done just that. Impeachment is allowed for dereliction of duty but the Legislature has to do that, and the Legislature in Kentucky meets only every other year, on even years which means, uhm, next year.

Ruth said...

Latest I saw today is that the lawyer just filed an appeal that no one told them that she could be jailed for not complying......

BadTux said...

A lawyer.

Filed an appeal.

Saying that nobody told his client that she could be jailed for not complying.

Other than, well, the judge, of course, who gave her the choice of complying or jail.

And under the ABA code of conduct, Rule 1.2(d), this very same lawyer had a duty to tell her that she could possibly go to jail for contempt if she refused to comply, and if he didn't know she could go to jail for contempt, he should be laughed out of the legal profession -- what, he got his law degree out of a box of cheerios?!

But: Filed an appeal. Saying no one told them that she could be jailed for not complying with a Federal judge's direct order.

Forgive me, I must go drench my head in cold water, for this legal team's derp burns deeply...