Saturday, September 26, 2015
This is a no-brainer for me. She has a job to do, she outright refuses to do it, so she should be fired. There's not another job in the country where a boss goes to an employee and says to do their job, the employee flat out says "No", and said employee keeps their job. Time for her to take the train.
That being said, she is an elected official. It's not that easy. Though I think firing her is the proper course of action, that elected official thing puts it into a more complicated box. According to Andrew Wolfson of the Louisville Kentucky Courier-Journal;
"Kentucky law allows a commonwealth’s attorney to indict county judges-executives, justices of the peace, sheriffs, coroners, surveyors, jailers, county attorneys and constables for malfeasance in office or willful neglect in the discharge of official duties, for which they can be fined up to $1,000 and removed from office upon conviction. But for some reason lost to history, the statute doesn’t include county clerks".
This says that a simple pink slip doesn't exist in this situation. The Kentucky House of Representatives would have have to charge her with an impeachable crime, then the Senate would try her. Kentucky governor Steve Beshear would have to call a special session of the General Assembly in order to pursue impeachment. This is the obvious, costly, long-winding approach.
Even as someone as repugnant as I find Kim Davis, I will throw her one bone. This new law was passed after she got elected and started her post. While I think that she should just do her job like the law instructs her, otherwise be dismissed/impeached for willfully neglecting her official duties. I'd be willing to give her an (overly)reasonable compromise.
Since she ran and won her post before this "offensive" law was put on the books, she can remain as County Clerk throughout her current term without necessarily participating in the one law she has a problem with, as long as others in the office perform the duties prescribed without her interference. Then, in the next election, Mrs, Davis, or whoever wins that election must perform the duties of the land in accordance to the law of the land.
Funny thing, is that is almost the exact compromise Judge Bunning of the United States District Court offered her. The court offered her a HUGE olive branch. Instead of issuing licenses contradictory to her religious beliefs(bigoted, ignorant, and downright hateful that they are), they said to let others do her job for her, and for her to just not sabotage the process. She was jailed because she defied the court's orders, not because of the religious beliefs she held. Even after her release, she has undermined the process by trying to say that all licenses issued without her participation are illegal(even though the District Court has assured those obtaining them that all issued licenses are legal). She has even gone so far as to alter the licenses themselves. According to John Cheves of the Lexington Herald-Leader;
This is blatant defiance of the Court's orders. She should be put in jail immediately.
My own personal feelings is that this is a hypocritical, awful woman that is truly giving Christianity a bad name, even if other Christians don't realize it. She is promoting her stance of hate and intolerance with the shield of Christianity wrapped around her.
Kim Davis is not a trailblazer for religious freedom. Far from it. She is a prime example of deceptive language religious oppressors use to elicit favorable reactions to their one-sided policies. She is using her power as an elected official, to defy the law of the land and even a specific court order, in order to force others to adhere to her own bigoted religious beliefs. Those beliefs, twisted as they are, are absolutely hers to practice. Nobody is saying that she, herself has to marry another woman. However, the law of the land, including the First Amendment I might add, says that no government agency can force the citizens to adhere to any religious beliefs. Kim Davis is an elected official. The law says she can believe in whatever she wants, but she cannot in any way, use her public office to encroach those beliefs on her fellow citizens.
Kim Davis is not Rosa Parks. She's the bus driver.