Another misguided appeal by beleaguered Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis, another denial from federal court.
Kim Davis’ lawyers asked U.S. District Judge David Bunning to order the governor of Kentucky to force the state to accommodate her “deeply held religious beliefs” (that don’t include divorce).
Judge Bunning ruled against the request saying his court does not have the authority to order state officials to alter or amend state license forms.
Via Equality Case Files:
In her Motion, Davis suggests that the Court could easily stem the tide of litigation by simply ordering Governor Beshear and Commissioner Onkst to remove her name and authorization from the marriage license form.
While this is a seemingly simple request, it is not consistent with principles of federalism.
Under the Eleventh Amendment, as interpreted by Pennhurst, the Court simply does not have the authority to order Governor Beshear or Commissioner Onkst to alter the marriage license form or amend KRS §402.100 based on alleged violations of Davis’ rights under the Kentucky Constitution and Ky. RFRA.
Davis’ claims brought under state law should therefore be brought in Kentucky state court. To the extent that she seeks relief in the form of such an accommodation for violations of Kentucky state law, only the state court can grant such relief.
What Ms. Davis’ only remedies are:
Allow her office to issue the marriage licenses OR,
Wait for the state legislature’s next session in January and hope for changes in the law that will remove her authority on the issue of marriage licenses.
It’s her choice. Until then she has to issue the licenses as part of her job.
It’s actually quite simple.