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Kim Davis, former Kentucky county clerk, won’t have appeal heard by Supreme Court

Kim Davis, former Kentucky county clerk, won’t have appeal heard by Supreme Court

The Supreme Court announced Monday it wouldn’t hear a case brought by former Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis, who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, citing her faith.

Ms. Davis, the former clerk for Rowan County, was sued for violating the constitutional rights of same-sex couples by refusing to issue marriage licenses to them, citing her Christian faith that marriage is between one man and one woman. She did so in the aftermath of the court’s 2015 ruling that legalized same-sex marriage.

Ms. Davis petitioned the high court to hear her case after lower courts allowed a lawsuit to move forward against her in an individual capacity, denying her qualified immunity claim. Qualified immunity is granted to some government officials, preventing them from facing civil lawsuits when they are acting in their official capacity carrying out their duties.

The high court refused to weigh in on her quest for qualified immunity, but Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. took shots at the court’s 2015 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, legalizing same-sex marriage.

Though they agreed that the Supreme Court shouldn’t grant review in Ms. Davis’ case, they said the Obergefell ruling did not provide clarity for religious objectors.

“By choosing to privilege a novel constitutional right over the religious liberty interests explicitly protected in the First Amendment, and by doing so undemocratically, the Court has created a problem that only it can fix,” Justice Thomas wrote in an opinion, joined by Justice Alito. “Until then, Obergefell will continue to have ‘ruinous consequences for religious liberty.’”

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Published at Mon, 05 Oct 2020 14:51:00 +0000