As Kim Davis faces a possible class action lawsuit, her attorneys at the Liberty Counsel aren’t backing down. They’re demanding the ACLU back off, instead — and encouraging others to follow in Davis’ footsteps by ignoring the Supreme Court ruling.
The Liberty Counsel announced Friday that its attorneys had filed a response to the ACLU’s request to expand the case against Kim Davis into a class-action lawsuit.
Attorney Mat Staver declared the case against Davis moot, saying that the ACLU lacked grounds for a class-action case.
The ACLU’s suit was filed early in July, and there have been a number of developments in the case since then, including the Rowan County Courthouse issuing marriage licenses while Davis was in jail, and Davis altering licenses (but not preventing clerks from issuing them) after her release.
The Liberty Counsel isn’t only defending Davis’ case, though, but arguing for others to mimic her actions in ignoring the ruling and the law. This week, the organization shared on its Facebook page a number of articles, such as this from American Principle Project and this from Breitbart, all calling for “constitutional resistance” to the ruling in Obergefell vs. Hodges.
Such calls may be reaping some results. According to Alternet, at least two more county clerks in Kentucky have also made announcements regarding their offices and marriage licenses. One difference, though, is that both Casey Davis (no relation to Kim) and Kay Schwartz are issuing marriage licenses to opposite-sex couples, and only intend to deny them to same-sex couples. Another is this: according to WFPL, the matter appears not to have come up in these offices. Casey Davis told the publication that no same-sex couples have come into his office for a marriage license, and though Schwartz refused to give further information, it appears there have been no incident there either.
Should a same-sex couple actually seek license in either of those offices (Casey County and Whitley County, respectively), these clerks may find themselves in a legal position similar to that of Kim Davis. The Supreme Court has already refused to stay Davis’ order to issue marriage licenses, and there is no sign that the court intends to take up the matter again.
Meanwhile, Davis’ case doesn’t appear to be improving. She and her attorneys are still battling the further damage to her public image from the controversial “meeting” with Pope Francis — which the Vatican says was little more than a handshake in a receiving line, while the Liberty Counsel continues to characterize it as a private meeting with Kim, her husband, and the Pope, in a room alone where Pope Francis spoke with the couple about their trials and gave each a rosary along with his message of strength.
The Liberty Counsel has, in the past week, continued to try to repair the damage, insisting that they did not represent the meeting inaccurately. Attorney Mat Staver appeared on Washington Watch to declare that the Vatican approved the press release announcing Kim Davis’s meeting with the Pope, and the Liberty Counsel’s Facebook page has carried a number of links calling for an apology to Davis from the Vatican.
As a further development, recently revealed documents demonstrate a failing in a certain oft-repeated defense of Davis. Though it’s been said that her job duties changed after she took office, due to the Supreme Court ruling, it has been discovered that Davis sent letters to legislators within weeks of taking her oath of office.
These letters from Kim Davis ask Kentucky legislators to rush through legislation that would allow her to opt-out of providing marriage licenses, and refer to the Supreme Court’s (at the time, upcoming) hearing regarding marriage equality. They demonstrate that she entered her job already having the intend to refuse this aspect of her job, and don’t do much to improve her case as it moves forward.
With bad press against them mounting up, Kim Davis’ lawyers may hope to find more clerks on their side, resisting the Supreme Court ruling, in hopes that they may have a better chance of reaching a compromise involving legislation that would allow clerks to opt-out.
[Photo by: Ty Wright/Getty Images]