Kim Davis Challenges Kentucky Governor Over Marriage Licenses

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

There’s more court drama in the case of Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, but for once she’s the one filing a lawsuit.  Davis is suing Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, who she claims caused her legal troubles by using authority beyond his office:

The day the Supreme Court effectively legalized gay marriage in June, Beshear sent a letter to the state’s 120 county clerks directing them to issue licenses. Davis on Thursday complained that in doing so he “commandeered” county clerk’s offices and “usurped control of Kentucky marriage law.”

Davis stopped issuing licenses altogether. Four couples sued Davis, elected clerk as a Democrat, and she filed a counter-suit against Beshear, also a Democrat, alleging that his refusal to exempt religious clerks from authorizing same-sex marriage violated her right to religious freedom.

Davis’ lawyers with the Liberty Counsel are citing a warning by Beshear to either issue licenses or resign as “ominous.”  Their suit also suggests that the governors’ order for clerks to abide by the Supreme Court’s decision forced Davis to defy the court and wind up in jail.

Governor Beshear has asked a judge to dismiss the suit against him, though it’s not clear on what grounds.

Nick Arnold is a researcher for American Principles In Action.