Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who's refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses, on Monday asked the Kentucky governor to immediately free her from jail, according to court documents obtained by CNN.At this point Kim Davis would be better off pro se (representing herself). These guys are morons. Worse than that, they are a positive danger to their client. What, they might have a legal argument? First, I would remind the Court that these are the legal geniuses that said the clerk has to sign marriage licenses or they are void. Not, however, according to the Rowan County Attorney. (Or according to the license itself; see comments below.)
"We would like them to release her from jail and provide reasonable, sensible accommodation so she can do her job," one of her lawyers, Horatio Mihet, said in a statement. "That would be taking her name off of marriage licenses in Rowan County and allowing her deputies to issue the licenses."
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear's office said Monday he won't respond, noting that the conflict was a "matter between her and the courts."
So now we have this "legal opinion:"
One of Davis's lawyers, Mat Staver, founder and chariman of Liberty Counsel, said Beshear could issue an executive order to solve the problem.It's my understanding that the duties of the County Clerk, an elected office, are set by statutes, so I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say: No, the governor of Kentucky can't do that. But apparently that's what her lawyers have been telling her, because her husband last Friday spilled the beans:
Staver said Davis has no plans to resign and would remain in jail until a compromise is reached. He said his client would be willing to issue licenses if her name and title were not on them.I'd been wondering what Gov. Beshear had to do with this; now I think I know.
Davis' husband, Joe, told reporters Friday that his wife was willing to stay in jail until that proposed compromise happened.
"As long as it takes," Joe Davis said. "Hopefully (Kentucky Gov. Steve) Beshear will haave the guts to do his job."
Which brings me back to my original aassessment of the plight of Kim Davis. I've wanted to be somewhat gracious to her lawyers and think they were either making a legal argument in good faith, or just, as a retired judge once put it, "preaching it round and square." But I've decided they are venal idiots committing malpractice as publicly as I've ever seen it done. Mat Staver is a man in a round room trying to find the corner to sit in. Problem is, he's got his client with him.
*WEEKEND UPDATE: And it turns out it's worse than I thought. Davis' lawyers didn't make any appeal to Bashear; they've filed an appeal with the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals asking the Court to issue an emergency injunction against Bashear's statement to all Kentucky County Clerks that they comply with the Obergefell decision. So now it's the governor's fault that Kim Davis is in jail!
I can think of a fairly large number of objections to this pleading, but the main one is: this is the argument they tried once before, and it was already rejected. What they want is some reason for Kim Davis not to have to comply with Obergefell. What they have, is the same argument over and over. Time to change the record, fellas.
So, three things: Kim Davis isn't getting rich off of this anytime soon (the story is turning into her pathetic legal case, not her heroic martyrdom); her lawyers are committing malpractice in a way I truly never thought I'd see; and the federal courts are going to lost patience with them any day now.
I've seen pro se defendants with more legal sense than this team of lawyers has.