When U.S. District Judge David Bunning let Kim Davis out of jail two weeks ago, the court order came with some specific instructions. The county clerk was locked up for defying court rulings, her oath of office, and a court order, and if she intended to remain free, Davis could not “interfere in any way, directly or indirectly, with the efforts of her deputy clerks to issue marriage licenses to all legally eligible couples.”
This week, however, the ACLU filed a new court motion insisting the interference is ongoing.
After returning to her job on Sept. 14 as the Rowan County clerk, the filing said, Davis “immediately” began meddling with licenses that the office’s deputy clerk, Brian Mason, was issuing.She “confiscated all the original forms, and provided a changed form” that didn’t mention Rowan County, the filing said. Nor did the new form mention her name or references to a “deputy clerk.”Where Mason’s signature would appear, the filing said, there were initials.
Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern said yesterday that in light of the new court motion, Davis “may be heading back to jail.”
“[I]llegally tampering with marriage licenses – perhaps with the intent to render them invalid – seems like a step beyond her initial law-breaking,” Stern noted. “Before, Davis was only telling same-sex couples to get married in a different county. Now she is actively sabotaging the legality of their marriage. That level of duplicity must be hard to endorse – even for those who think one public servant’s anti-gay beliefs should trump a binding Supreme Court ruling.”
For his part, Mat Staver, Davis’ far-right attorney, argued yesterday that the anti-gay clerk has “made a good faith effort to comply with the court’s order and has not prevented the issuance of marriage licenses by Deputy Clerks. While these licenses do not have her name on them, the Governor said last Monday they were valid.”
In an interview with ABC yesterday, Davis said she’s prepared to return to jail if necessary, though the judge in the case has not yet responded to the ACLU’s latest court filing.