Lawyer mum on Kim Davis' future
by Leigh Jones
Posted 9/08/15, 04:00 pm
UPDATE: After her release from jail this afternoon, Rowan County clerk Kim Davis stood before a crowd of supporters and wept.
“Thank you all so much, I love you all so very much,” she told thousands of people who converged today on the correctional facility in Grayson, Ky.
Her release came as a surprise to everyone. As news spread through the cross-waving crowd, Davis’ supporters burst into renditions of “Amazing Grace” and “God Bless America.” When she first emerged from the jail after five days behind bars, Davis told the crowd, “all has been well.”
Her attorney, Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver, declined to say whether Davis would follow the judge’s order and not interfere with deputy clerks who agreed to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
“Kim cannot and will not violate her conscience,” said Staver, who offered only a cryptic response when asked whether Davis would issue marriage licenses. “You’ll find out in the near future.”
OUR EARLIER REPORT (1:30 p.m. EDT): As supporters rallied today outside a Kentucky jail to show support for Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, the judge who put her behind bars on Thursday ordered her released.
U.S. District Judge David Bunning lifted the contempt order he issued against Davis four days ago, after she refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. While Davis has been behind bars, five of her deputy clerks agreed to issue the licenses, which were modified to remove the head clerk’s name. Davis told the judge it would violate her belief in the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman to have her name attached to licenses issued to homosexual couples.
Lawyers for two of the gay couples who filed suit against Davis told Bunning this morning their clients had gotten their licenses. One of the two heterosexual couples who filed suit also got a license.
In releasing Davis, Bunning ordered her not to interfere with issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. Before he sent her to jail, Davis had ordered her clerks not to issue the licenses, and she told Bunning she would not rescind that order.
News of Davis’ release order came just a few hours before she was set to met with Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, both of whom are running for the Republican presidential nomination. U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., who attended today’s rally, said Bunning’s decision to jail Davis was premature because Kentucky’s laws are still in flux after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage nationwide earlier this year. The Kentucky legislature is faced with updating several state laws affected by the ruling, including the statute requiring all marriage licenses to be issued under the county clerk’s authority.
Davis has called on the state legislature to provide her an accommodation that would allow her to keep her job without violating her conscience.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Leigh is the news editor for WORLD Radio. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate who spent six years as a newspaper reporter in Texas before joining WORLD. Leigh also co-wrote Infinite Monster: Courage, Hope, and Resurrection in the Face of One of America's Largest Hurricanes. She resides with her husband and daughter in Houston, Texas.