Kim Davis Loses Again in Marriage License Case

Saturday October 1, 2022

Kim Davis
Kim Davis  (Source:Associated Press)

Flash-from-the-past: remember Kim Davis? She was the former clerk  former county clerk for Rowan County, Kentucky, who gained international attention in August 2015 when she defied a U.S. federal court order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples."

Davis is back in the news after an appeals panel ruled Thursday that she "is not protected from being sued personally for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples," reports the Lexington Herald Leader.

The court ruled that Davis does not have "qualified immunity," which protects government officials from personal liability for violating someone's rights, unless they are in violation of "clearly established" constitutional rights, as the Supreme Court case of Harlow v. Fitzgerald, decided in 1982, according to LGBTQ Nation.

"Davis already lost her plea for qualified immunity in the case several years ago. The most recent opinion stated that because the plaintiffs proved that Davis "violated their clearly established right to marry," the ruling that says she is not entitled to qualified immunity stands," adds LGBTQ Nation.

"Davis or someone in her office denied both couples licenses multiple times. Eventually, they received them from a deputy clerk while Davis was jailed for five days for contempt of court."

The Herald-Leader adds: "The ruling also affirmed that former Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis violated the Constitutional rights of the couples to get married. A three-judge panel of the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals handed down the ruling Thursday."

Davis could take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court on appeal. However, the lawyer representing the couple in the case, Michael J. Garland, said he believed U.S. District Judge David L. Bunning will soon schedule a trial in the case.

Gartland told the Herald Leader that his clients, David Ermold and David Moore, were pleased by the appeals court ruling. "She had no excuse for doing what she did," Gartland said of Davis.

Davis is represented by the anti-LGBTQ Liberty Counsel, a Southern Poverty Law Center designated hate group that has argued Davis is not responsible for damages due to religious exemptions.