Supreme Court

Carly Fiorina Falsely Claims She Never Called Obergefell The 'Law Of The Land'

As a number of commentators have pointed out recently, Carly Fiorina’s swift rise in Republican presidential polls has given her an opportunity to display what Mother Jones called her “adventurous relationship to the truth,” which includes deliberately misleading statements on everything from the contents of the Planned Parenthood smear videos to her record as CEO of Hewlett-Packard.

Fiorina displayed her signature truthiness once again in an interview Friday with Iowa conservative radio host Jan Mickelson, who asked her to defend her statement that Supreme Court decisions like Obergefell v. Hodges are “the law of the land,” which he said would turn off voters in Iowa.

Fiorina insisted that she had never said that, speculating, “I think that is a quote from someone else, not from me,” and suggesting that Mickelson might be thinking of her Republican rival John Kasich.

In fact, Fiorina said those very words in an interview with the Iowa conservative blog Caffeinated Thoughts in May when asked about the Supreme Court’s upcoming decision in the marriage equality case.

“I think the Supreme Court decision will become the law of the land, and however much I may agree or disagree with it, I wouldn’t support an amendment to reverse it,” she said. “And I very much hope that we will come to a place now in this nation where we can support their decision and at the same time support people’s right to hold religious views and to protect their right to exercise those views.”

Fiorina told Mickelson that “there is an argument to be made for judicial engagement to rectify when the law begins to impinge on the personal immunities and privileges of citizens,” but seemed to imply that the denial of marriage rights was not such a case. Grasping onto the Right’s argument that LGBT equality undermines religious freedom, she called for the passage of state Religious Freedom Restoration Act laws similar to a controversial one passed and later amended in Indiana, which would have opened the door for anti-LGBT discrimination. She also called for the passage of such a law at “the federal level” — there is already a federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, so presumably Fiorina supports one that would expand the ability of people to discriminate against LGBT people.

Fiorina also promised that if she were to become president, she would “appoint the right justices” and “spend a lot of time” with potential nominees “to see how well they hold up to pressure, because people look like they’re one thing and then become another thing when they can’t take pressure.”

When Mickelson suggested that Sen. Ted Cruz might fit the bill for a Fiorina Supreme Court, Fiorina laughed: “Well, wouldn’t that be an interesting selection. He clearly can stand up to pressure.”

UPDATE: Fiorina appeared again on Mickelson’s program on Monday, where he confronted her a clip of her “law of the land” comments. Fiorina evaded the question, telling Mickelson that she had “no idea what reference that snippet was from,” but that if it was “about gay marriage” she was saying that “we profoundly disagree with this” and will focus on finding Supreme Court nominees who will overturn it.

What I said, for example, was we need to be, if that was about gay marriage, we profoundly disagree with this, we need to invest our political capital and our leadership now in protecting religious liberty all across this nation, which means every state needs to enact a religious freedom protection act, as we have a national act. And it also reminds us how important it is who’s on the Supreme Court. So, let’s focus our energies on making sure we have the right nominees and the right protections and liberties.

Citizens United and the Court: How the Supreme Court Created Our Current Money in Politics System, and How it Can Fix It

Big money in politics has become an existential threat to our democracy. So how did we get here?

Short answer: The Supreme Court.

 

Citizens United v. FEC is one of several Supreme Court decisions that have opened the floodgates for unlimited big money in our elections and are now preventing even the most common-sense campaign finance regulations. 

The judicial philosophy that has enabled these decisions is one that is hostile to democratic principles and disproportionately favorable to the rich and powerful. That philosophy is currently held by a slim five-justice majority on the Roberts Court.

A different Court majority, one acknowledging the disastrous errors in the reasoning behind Citizens United and related cases, could eventually overturn those decisions.  However, that couldn’t happen overnight.

Citizens United itself undermined a century of established law allowing for certain limits on campaign spending, but that decision and even more recent ones, like McCutcheon v. FEC and Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom Club PAC v. Bennett, have now established their own precedents that could take several cases and many years to overturn fully.

While a more democracy-friendly Supreme Court majority is essential for so many reasons, the long and daunting road to a Court decision overturning Citizens United shows the persisting need to pursue permanent constitutional remedies, driven by a popular national movement and legislation to pass and ratify a 28th constitutional amendment. 

Edit Memo: The Supreme Court's 2015-2016 Term Preview

This Supreme Court term may be yet another one where the American people enjoy less liberty, less equality, less power, and less control over our own democracy on the last day of the term than we had on the first.

Why November 8, 2016 is Judgment Day for the Supreme Court -- and Our Rights

This post originally appeared in the Huffington Post.

What would have happened if a President McCain had appointed conservatives to the Supreme Court, instead of Justices Sotomayor and Kagan, before the Court ruled on marriage equality in the Obergefell case? And what if a President Kerry had filled the seats that Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito took before the Court decided theCitizens United campaign finance case? Clearly both those rulings would have come out very differently, with enormous consequences for all Americans. As we approach the tenth anniversary of the Roberts-Alito Court and as the 2016 elections get more and more attention, these examples and many more should alert us that Election Day 2016 is truly judgment day for the Supreme Court and for Americans’ rights and liberties. 

Today, People For the American Way released a comprehensive report, Judgment Day 2016, which looks at pivotal Court decisions since Roberts and Alito joined the Court that were decided by a single vote. Many have seriously harmed the rights of ordinary Americans and promoted the interests of powerful corporations. Examples include Citizens United, the ruling striking down a key part of the Voting Rights Act inShelby County v. Holder, the decision allowing corporations to claim religion and  deny contraceptive coverage to women in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, and the holding reinterpreting the Second Amendment and severely limiting efforts to limit gun violence in District of Columbia v. Heller. All these and many other decisions could be overruled or limited if a progressive justice replaces just one conservative on the Court, significantly blunting the right-wing judicial assault on a broad array of our rights and liberties.

But there have also been many critical 5-4 decisions over the past ten years where the Court’s  moderate justices, usually joined by Justice Kennedy, have succeeded in protecting Americans’  rights and liberties. In addition to Obergefell, which found a constitutional right to marriage equality, examples include Massachusetts v. EPA, where the Court upheld EPA authority to regulate greenhouse gases; Alabama Democratic Conference v. Alabama, which invalidated a state redistricting scheme that used race to harm minority voters; and Boumediene v. Bush, which narrowly ruled that prisoners detained at Guantanamo can challenge their detention through habeas corpus petitions. All these and many other rulings could be overturned or limited if a right-wing justice replaces just one of the moderates on the Court. A Supreme Court with a far-right supermajority would put more and more of our rights at risk.

Why is this particularly important now? During the first term of whoever is elected President in 2016, four Supreme Court justices - including extreme conservative Antonin Scalia, conservative swing vote Anthony Kennedy, and moderates Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer - will be over 80 years old. Given that the average retirement age for justices since 1971 is 78, the odds are overwhelming that the President elected next year will be able to nominate one or more justices who could produce a critical shift in the Court’s ideological balance.

Leading presidential candidates from both parties have already recognized the importance of future Supreme Court appointments and made clear their intent to nominate justices in accord with their views on crucial constitutional issues. In criticizing the Court’s recent 5-4 decision in Obergefell striking down discriminatory marriage bans, for example, Republican candidates Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio pledged to appoint to the Court “people with a proven record of judicial restraint” and “justices committed to applying the Constitution as written and originally understood,” in the hope of undermining or reversing the Court’s decision. On the other hand, in criticizing the Court’s 5-4 decisions striking down federal campaign finance law in Citizens United and part of the Voting Rights Act in Shelby County, Hillary Clinton pledged to “do everything I can to appoint Supreme Court justices who protect the right to vote and do not protect the right of billionaires to buy elections.”

PFAW’s report carefully reviews 5-4 decisions in eleven key areas where the next President and Supreme Court justice could make such a crucial difference to all Americans. These include money in politics; civil and voting rights (including immigration); LGBT rights; reproductive freedom and women’s rights; workplace fairness; protecting the environment; religious liberty; gun violence; marketplace and consumer fairness; access to justice; and protection against government abuse. In addition to past 5-4 rulings in these areas that could be limited or overruled, the Court is quite likely to be deciding cases on these and other key subjects in the years to come.

 Conservatives clearly understand the crucial importance of the Court and the next election in all these areas, with one far right activist noting that “we cannot overstate the importance of the Supreme Court in the next election.” In fact, her group - the Judicial Crisis Network - recently launched an ad campaign criticizing Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Kennedy as not conservative enough,  and demanding that Republican candidates pledge to appoint even more conservative justices. The group noted that Court decisions affect “every aspect of our lives today” and that “the next President could appoint a new majority to last a generation.” Hopefully, statements like that will help all Americans to pay close attention to the Supreme Court in the 2016 election and to recognize that November 8, 2016 truly is judgment day.

PFAW

Supreme Court Nominations: An Issue Affecting All Other Issues, in 2016 and Beyond

In the past decade, scores of Supreme Court decisions addressing some of the most fundamental questions in our country have hinged on the vote of a single Supreme Court justice. Who can marry? Can everyone access the ballot box? Can women be denied reproductive health care? Can corporations flood elections with money?

In past 5-4 decisions on questions like these, from Citizens United to Hobby Lobby to Obergefell, the impact of each presidential Supreme Court nomination on our rights and liberties is clear. And for future decisions, Election Day 2016 – when Americans elect a president who will almost certainly be nominating one or more new justices – becomes a “judgment day” for our rights going forward.

A new PFAW report out today, “Judgment Day 2016,” looks at 80 5-4 decisions the Court has issued since Bush-nominees John Roberts and Samuel Alito joined the Court ten years ago in key areas like money and politics; civil and voting rights; LGBT rights; women’s rights; workplace fairness; protecting the environment, and more. On a range of issues, the report underscores what’s at stake when Americans vote next November.

As principal report author and PFAW Senior Fellow Elliot Mincberg put it:

In the 2016 election, the Supreme Court is on the ballot…Our next president may very well be nominating three or more Supreme Court justices who could tip the balance in critically important cases.

You can read the report here.

PFAW

New PFAW Report Examines Supreme Court Nominations as a Critical 2016 Election Issue

WASHINGTON – With little over a year left before 2016 election, People For the American Way released a report today analyzing recent 5-4 decisions from the Supreme Court and the effect that new Justices could have on the Court’s direction. 

The report, “Judgment Day 2016: The Future of the Supreme Court as a Critical Issue in the 2016 Presidential Election,” examines more than 80 5-4 decisions the Court has issued since President George W. Bush pushed the nation’s highest court far rightward by putting John Roberts and Samuel Alito on the Supreme Court in 2005-6. In light of the narrow majorities in landmark decisions such as Obergefell v. Hodges (protecting the right of same-sex couples to marry), Citizens United v. FEC (finding that corporations have a right to make unlimited campaign expenditures), Burwell v. Hobby Lobby (finding that corporations can claim religious rights to exempt themselves from federal laws about contraceptive coverage), and Shelby County v. Holder (overturning a key section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act), the report highlights the fact that Election Day 2016 is  “Judgment Day” for the rights of all Americans going forward.

The report reviews and analyzes 5-4 court decisions in eleven key areas:

•        Money and politics
•        Civil and voting rights
•        LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) rights
•        Reproductive freedom and women’s rights
•        Workplace fairness
•        Protecting the environment
•        Religious liberty
•        Gun violence
•        Marketplace and consumer fairness
•        Access to justice
•        Protection against government abuse

“In the 2016 election, the Supreme Court is on the ballot,” said Elliot Mincberg, Senior Fellow at People For the American Way, principal author of the Judgment Day 2016 report. “Closely-divided 5-4 Supreme Court rulings in recent years have wreaked havoc on Americans’ rights and, in some cases, only narrowly averted doing so. Our next president may very well be nominating three or more Supreme Court justices who could tip the balance in critically important cases. This report highlights what’s at stake for our rights when Americans cast their ballot next November.”

You can read the full report here.

Elliot Mincberg is available to speak with press. To arrange an interview, please reach out to Layne Amerikaner or Drew Courtney at media@pfaw.org.

###

Judgment Day 2016: The Future of the Supreme Court as a Critical Issue in the 2016 Presidential Election

Of all the important issues at stake in the 2016 presidential election, one stands out for right-wing conservatives: the future of the Supreme Court. For the rights of all Americans, November 8, 2016, is truly judgment day.

Far Right SCOTUS Isn't Extreme Enough For GOP Presidential Hopefuls

Last night’s Republican presidential debate made clear just how extreme the party has gotten when it comes to the Supreme Court … which means danger to the entire country should one of them have the power to nominate the next one, two, or three Justices.

For instance, Jeb! Bush praised Chief Justice John Roberts,  but suggested that his own Court nominees would have longer records of far-right jurisprudence than Roberts did when he was first nominated by George W. Bush in 2005:

John Roberts has made some really good decisions, for sure, but he did not have a proven, extensive record that would have made the clarity the important thing, and that’s what we need to do.  ... And, I think he is doing a good job.  But, the simple fact is that going forward, what we need to do is to have someone that has a long standing set of rulings that consistently makes it clear that he is a focused, exclusively on upholding the Constitution of the United States so they won’t try to use the bench as a means to which legislate.

Jeb! revealed quite a lot there.  Roberts provided the fifth vote in 5-4 rulings wrecking Americans’ ability to limit money in politics, gutting the Voting Rights Act, giving for-profit corporations religious liberty rights, elevating religious offense as a significant burden on religious exercise, upholding a late term abortion ban, weakening longstanding laws against job discrimination … the list goes on.  And Jeb! thinks Roberts is “doing a good job,” even if his own Justices would be more conservative.

Ted Cruz, on the other hand, angrily focused on the very few times when Roberts did not collaborate with the Republican Party’s efforts to destroy Obamacare.  Cruz blasted John Roberts as insufficiently conservative:

I’ve known John Roberts for 20 years, he’s amazingly talented lawyer, but, yes, it was a mistake when he was appointed to the Supreme Court. He’s a good enough lawyer that he knows in these Obamacare cases he changed the statute, he changed the law in order to force that failed law on millions of Americans for a political outcome.

And, you know, we’re frustrated as conservatives. We keep winning elections, and then we don’t get the outcome we want.

Mike Huckabee made clear what type of Justice he would nominate when the moderator asked if he would apply a litmus test to potential nominees:

You better believe I will … Number one, I’d ask do you think that the unborn child is a human being or is it just a blob of tissue? I’d want to know the answer to that. I’d want to know do you believe in the First Amendment, do you believe that religious liberty is the fundamental liberty around which all the other freedoms of this country are based? And I’d want to know do you really believe in the Second Amendment, do you believe that we have an individual right to bear arms to protect ourselves and our family and to protect our country? And do you believe in the Fifth and the 14th Amendment? Do you believe that a person, before they’re deprived of life and liberty, should in fact have due process and equal protection under the law? Because if you do, you’re going to do more than defund Planned Parenthood

So Huckabee Justices would help right-wing extremists accomplish their longtime dream of eliminating abortion rights altogether.  They would also change U.S. law in keeping with the current conservative project to make it easier for them to disobey laws that offend them religiously, even when it deprives other people of their rights.

The current Supreme Court has done so much damage to our basic rights and liberties, yet it is not conservative enough for Republicans seeking to be the next president.

Cross-posted from People For the American Way's blog.

Far Right SCOTUS Isn't Extreme Enough For GOP Presidential Hopefuls

GOP presidential hopefuls would make the already-right-wing Supreme Court even more extreme.
PFAW

Conservatives See 2016 As Key To A More Conservative SCOTUS

Four of the nine Supreme Court Justices will be in their 80s during the first term of whoever is elected president next year, meaning he or she could usher in an enormous shift in the Court’s makeup.  The Court issues enormously consequential rulings on numerous issues affecting everyone across the country – LGBT equality, money in politics, workers’ rights, religious liberty, workplace discrimination, abortion rights, and many others.  With the current Court so often divided 5-4, usually tilting toward far-right conservatives, it’s clear that the Supreme Court is perhaps the most important issue in the 2016 presidential election.

You certainly don’t need to persuade conservatives.  In fact, according to press reports, the far-right Judicial Crisis Network is launching a new website and ad campaign to pressure GOP presidential hopefuls ever rightward on the issue of Supreme Court nominations.  A reported in The Hill, the group blasts the arch-conservative Chief Justice John Roberts and very conservative Anthony Kennedy as insufficiently conservative.

“Demand justices with a proven record of upholding the constitution. We can’t afford more surprises,” a narrator says as the video shows the faces of Roberts, Kennedy and former Justice David Souter, who retired in 2009.

The three justices are “examples of bad GOP appointments,” the Judicial Crisis Network said in a statement announcing the advertisements.



[JCN] says it made the $200,000 television and digital ad buys ahead of the Republican presidential debates to get candidates on the record about their approach to Supreme Court picks. The next Republican debate is Wednesday.

The television and digital ads are set to run in Iowa, New Hampshire and Washington, D.C. starting Monday, the group said.

Roberts and Kennedy … not conservative enough?  Along with Scalia, Thomas, and Alito, they formed the five-person majority that gutted the heart of the Voting Rights Act (Shelby County), opened the floodgates to corporate money in politics (Citizens United), twisted religious liberty into a tool to deprive others of their legal rights (Hobby Lobby), and regularly misinterpret and severely undermine our nation’s anti-discrimination laws (Ledbetter, for a start).  True, Justice Kennedy authored the Court’s key opinions recognizing the constitutional rights and basic humanity of LGBT people, but he is no liberal.

If conservative activists succeed in electing a conservative president who wants to drive the currently far-right Supreme Court even farther rightward, the repercussions will be enormous.

But imagine instead if Americans elect a president who wants to restore a high court that recognizes and protects our constitutional and statutory rights to liberty, equality, and democracy … Again, the repercussions for people across the entire country would be enormous.

There is one thing where we agree with the JCN.  As their ad says:

On the most important issues, the Supreme Court decides.  The next president could appoint a new majority to last a generation.

Keep that in mind between now and Election Day.  You can be assured that conservatives will.

Cross-posted from People For the American Way's blog.

Conservatives See 2016 as Key to a More Conservative SCOTUS

Four of the nine Supreme Court Justices will be in their 80s during the first term of whoever is elected president next year, meaning he or she could usher in an enormous shift in the Court’s makeup.  The Court issues enormously consequential rulings on numerous issues affecting everyone across the country – LGBT equality, money in politics, workers’ rights, religious liberty, workplace discrimination, abortion rights, and many others.  With the current Court so often divided 5-4, usually tilting toward far-right conservatives, it’s clear that the Supreme Court is perhaps the most important issue in the 2016 presidential election.

You certainly don’t need to persuade conservatives.  In fact, according to press reports, the far-right Judicial Crisis Network is launching a new website and ad campaign to pressure GOP presidential hopefuls ever rightward on the issue of Supreme Court nominations.  A reported in The Hill, the group blasts the arch-conservative Chief Justice John Roberts and very conservative Anthony Kennedy as insufficiently conservative.

“Demand justices with a proven record of upholding the constitution. We can’t afford more surprises,” a narrator says as the video shows the faces of Roberts, Kennedy and former Justice David Souter, who retired in 2009.

The three justices are “examples of bad GOP appointments,” the Judicial Crisis Network said in a statement announcing the advertisements.

[JCN] says it made the $200,000 television and digital ad buys ahead of the Republican presidential debates to get candidates on the record about their approach to Supreme Court picks. The next Republican debate is Wednesday.

The television and digital ads are set to run in Iowa, New Hampshire and Washington, D.C. starting Monday, the group said.

Roberts and Kennedy … not conservative enough?  Along with Scalia, Thomas, and Alito, they formed the five-person majority that gutted the heart of the Voting Rights Act (Shelby County), opened the floodgates to corporate money in politics (Citizens United), twisted religious liberty into a tool to deprive others of their legal rights (Hobby Lobby), and regularly misinterpret and severely undermine our nation’s anti-discrimination laws (Ledbetter, for a start).  True, Justice Kennedy authored the Court’s key opinions recognizing the constitutional rights and basic humanity of LGBT people, but he is no liberal.

If conservative activists succeed in electing a conservative president who wants to drive the currently far-right Supreme Court even farther rightward, the repercussions will be enormous.

But imagine instead if Americans elect a president who wants to restore a high court that recognizes and protects our constitutional and statutory rights to liberty, equality, and democracy … Again, the repercussions for people across the entire country would be enormous.

There is one thing where we agree with the JCN.  As their ad says:

On the most important issues, the Supreme Court decides.  The next president could appoint a new majority to last a generation.

Keep that in mind between now and Election Day.  You can be assured that conservatives will.

PFAW

Five Bizarre Arguments Kim Davis' Supporters Have Used To Defend Her Lawbreaking

Religious Right activists claimed that they were shocked and stunned this week when a federal judge held Kentucky clerk Kim Davis in contempt of court after she repeatedly refused court orders to allow her office to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, even after losing her appeal to the Supreme Court.

While the Religious Right has been outraged, many legal observers have wondered how anyone could be surprised that a judge would actually hold Davis accountable for blatantly violating the law. Some have even questioned whether Davis' lawyers at the conservative legal group Liberty Counsel are giving her bad advice and urging her to break the law in order to turn her case into a fundraising bonanza. As one retired judge told Louisville's Courier Journal, “I think you have an ethical responsibility to tell your client she doesn’t have a legitimate cause of action.”

Of course, Liberty Counsel founder Mat Staver has been urging public officials to defy the Supreme Court since even before the court issued its landmark marriage equality decision. The group acknowledged that the marriage equality ruling would “expose Davis to potential liability if she refuses to compromise her religious beliefs and violate her conscience.”

Davis, who identifies as a born-again Christian, doesn’t seem ignorant at all of the fact that she is breaking the law. In fact, she attempted to convince lawmakers to change Kentucky’s laws on marriage licenses in order to suit her demands. When that didn’t happen, Davis went ahead and ordered officials in her county not to issue any marriage licenses to any couples, citing “God’s authority.” According to Davis, “if I left, resigned or chose to retire” from the county clerk position, “I would have no voice for God’s word.”

Davis and her supporters are instead tried to use bizarre legal arguments to back up her case:

1) God’s law trumps U.S. law

Rena Lindevaldsen, a Liberty Counsel attorney, offered insights into the group’s legal thinking when she delivered a lecture to the Liberty University School of Law, which named Lindevaldsen its interim dean after Staver decided to dedicate more time to his work at Liberty Counsel.

Lindevaldsen told students in a speech titled “Do Government Officials Have Authority to Impose Their Morals on Others?” that any law that is not “consistent with Scripture” — or, more accurately, their interpretation of Scripture — is no law at all, and therefore, officials are obligated to break such laws since “civil government only has the authority that God has established.”

With this reasoning, Liberty Counsel thinks that officials can impose their morals on others as long as they are acting according to their understanding of the Bible, and therefore don’t need to respect the legalization of same-sex marriage because its unbiblical.

“Whether it’s zoning or taxes or marriage or abortion, in those issues, government doesn’t have authority to say that these things are appropriate because they’re contrary to Scripture,” Lindevaldsen said.

In a case involving a child custody dispute between a self-identified “ex-gay” and her former lesbian partner, Liberty Counsel similarly advised their client, the "ex-gay" woman, to break a court-approved custody agreement because, after all, God’s law is superior.

Staver said that Davis should not follow the Obergefell decision as it would violate her oath of office, which, he said, requires her to “not act in contradiction to the moral law of God.” He also told other officials not to respect the ruling because it “directly conflicts with higher law.” As the judge in Davis’ case noted, such arguments would allow Roman Catholic clerks to deny a marriage license to a previously divorced person because the Catholic Church proscribes divorce.

2) Davis was elected before Obergefell, so she’s exempt

In one positively bizarre defense of Davis, Religious Right activist Keith Fournier said that Davis’ oath to uphold the laws only requires her to uphold the laws that were in effect before January 2015, when she was sworn into office.

Some contend that that because Kim Davis works for “the government” she must comply by issuing the license with her name on it. In other words, she loses her right to religious liberty because she has a public position. This fails to consider the crucial fact that when she was elected to her post as the Rowan County Clerk, marriage under Kentucky law was solely between one man and one woman. That was the law she swore to uphold. Then the five oracles of the Supreme Court issued their edict in Obergefell v Hodges, with no basis in the Constitution, past precedent, common sense or the Natural Law.

If this was the case, then anyone who was elected to office before the Loving v. Virginia decision, which struck down state bans on interracial marriage, would then be able to refuse to issue marriage licenses to such couples. Likewise, officials who took office Brown v. Board of Education would be allowed to block the integration of schools.

Furthermore, as the appeals court pointed out in this case, the office doesn’t belong to Davis, it belongs to the people of the county:

The injunction operates not against Davis personally, but against the holder of her office of Rowan County Clerk. In light of the binding holding of Obergefell, it cannot be defensibly argued that the holder of the Rowan County Clerk’s office, apart from who personally occupies that office, may decline to act in conformity with the United States Constitution as interpreted by a dispositive holding of the United States Supreme Court.

3) Davis is the only clerk obeying the law

Mike Huckabee has been making the case that Davis is the only clerk upholding the law and that it is actually the vast majority of clerks who are issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples who are the ones breaking the law.

As Huckabee said on MSNBC yesterday, marriage equality can only be legal in Kentucky if the legislature passes a same-sex marriage bill that the governor signs into law, adding that the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision is invalid because the court “cannot overrule the laws of nature and the laws of nature’s God.”

When host Joe Scarborough said that Southern states still had to desegregate their schools after the Supreme Court ruled in Brown, despite the fact that the states still had segregationist laws on the books, Huckabee insisted that “you have to have enabling legislation.”

“The Supreme Court cannot and did not make a law,” the Republican presidential candidate said in a statement. “They only made a ruling on a law. Congress makes the laws. Because Congress has made no law allowing for same sex marriage, Kim does not have the constitutional authority to issue a marriage license to homosexual couples.”

Before Obergefell was decided, Staver insisted that a state “does not have to obey” a Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality because it would be “so far removed from the Constitution” that it would cause one to ask if the justices have “literally lost their mind.”

Pat Robertson made the same claim, saying that Davis and others are “not obligated” to follow Obergefell.

4) Gays can just drive to another county

Davis and her lawyers argue that all 20,000 Rowan County residents must accommodate Davis’ personal religious views — views that she ordered all deputy clerks to follow — by driving to another county if they want to access government services.

“You drive 30 minutes in any direction in Kentucky and get a marriage license,” Staver said. “You don’t have to force Kim Davis herself to issue the license.”

And what if officials in the neighboring counties join Davis and the other handful of clerks who are refusing to issue marriage licenses? Staver doesn’t seem to know, as he would likely to defend such clerks as well, insisting that it is more reasonable to let one official disregard the law than to allow taxpayers to receive access to taxpayer-funded services.

5) Anti-religious test for office

While Davis may have exhausted her appeals in the case where couples challenged her refusal to issue them licenses, Liberty Counsel has tried to throw a Hail Mary by filing a lawsuit against Kentukcy's governor, alleging that enforcing the Obergefell is actually unconstitutional since it would impose a religious test as a qualification to hold the office of county clerk.” The group even argued, like Fournier, that issuing marriage licenses would violate Davis' oath and represent anti-Christian discrimination:

19. Before taking office as County Clerk in January 2015, Davis swore an oath to support the constitutions and laws of the United States and the Commonwealth of Kentucky “so help me God.” Davis understood (and understands) this oath to mean that, in upholding the federal and state constitutions and laws, she would not act in contradiction to the moral law of God, natural law, or her sincerely held religious beliefs and convictions. Davis also understood (and understands) the constitution and laws she swore to uphold to incorporate the constitutional and other legal protections of all individuals’ rights to live and work according to their consciences, as informed by their sincerely held religious beliefs and convictions, including without limitation such rights she holds in her own individual capacity.

20. Davis’s sincerely held religious belief regarding the definition of “marriage” was perfectly aligned with the prevailing marriage policy in Kentucky at the time she took office, as provided in the Kentucky Constitution, Kentucky statutes, and controlling court decisions, and as effected by the Commonwealth through Governor Beshear and Commissioner Onkst.



38. Governor Beshear’s targeted and discriminatory marriage policy pronouncements constitute government-imposed pressure on Davis to act contrary to her religious beliefs, and expose Davis to potential liability if she refuses to compromise her religious beliefs and violate her conscience.

But the Rowan County office is not Kim Davis’ church or her “business,” as she once referred to it. Davis does not have to offer her personal support or approval to same-sex marriage; in fact, she and her church can remain dutifully opposed to such unions, but she cannot stop the government, which has legalized gay marriage, and county clerk deputies from performing job functions just because she has a personal disagreement.

Bobby Jindal's Amazing Hypocrisy On The Kentucky Clerk Case

The Kentucky clerk heading to court today for a contempt hearing over her order that her county office defy the Supreme Court and refuse to issue marriage licenses has already received support from GOP presidential candidates Mike Huckabee and Rand Paul. The clerk, Kim Davis, now also has the support of Louisiana governor and GOP presidential candidate Bobby Jindal, who has tried to turn phony claims about Christian persecution in America into a major campaign theme.

While Jindal has made a point of rallying against the (non-existent) imposition of Islamic religious law in Western Europe, the Republican leader hailed clerk Kim Davis for citing her personal beliefs on biblical law and God’s judgment as a reason to flout U.S. law on marriage, telling the Huffington Post:

"I don't think anyone should have to choose between following their conscience and religious beliefs and giving up their job and facing financial sanctions. I think it's wrong to force Christian individuals or business owners. We are seeing government today discriminate against whether it's clerks, florists, musicians or others. I think that's wrong. I think you should be able to keep your job and follow your conscience," he said. "I absolutely do believe people have a First Amendment right, a constitutional right. I don't think the court can take that away."

However, back in 2009, Jindal was positively outraged when a Louisiana justice of the peace “refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple” in clear defiance of the law because he had a personal objection to such unions, telling reporters that he does not “believe in mixing the races that way.”

The case made national news and Jindal came out with a strong statement demanding that the official either follow the law or lose his job, dismissing the official's stated personal objection: “This is a clear violation of constitutional rights and federal and state law. ... Disciplinary action should be taken immediately — including the revoking of his license.” The governor later hailed the justice of the peace's resignation as “long overdue.”

This of course begs the question: Why does Jindal think that a public official who violates the law by citing her personal objection to gay marriage is worthy of praise and legal protection, while a public official who violates the law by citing his personal objection to interracial marriage is worthy of scorn and must be dismissed from his job?

Perhaps it has something to do with Jindal’s desperate campaign to portray American Christians as victims of government oppression?

Kim Davis Vows To Use County Office To Spread 'God's Word,' Act As Divine Vessel

UPDATE: Kim Davis was just found in contempt of court and taken into custody by U.S. Marshals.

Being interviewed by Todd Starnes is a rite of passage that nearly all phony Religious Right martyrs undergo as they turn themselves into the latest victims of anti-Christian bigotry, so it came as no surprise that Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk Kim Davis offered an “EXCLUSIVE” interview with the Fox News pundit today.

Telling Starnes that she is “prepared to go to jail” if she is held in contempt of court for preventing the county from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, Davis added that she refuses to step down from her position as an elected official because she is “a vessel God has chosen for this time and this place” who wants to use the county office to spread “God’s word.”

The four-times-married clerk also said that others should learn from her “sordid past” and repent: “They too can receive the cleansing and renewing, and they can start a fresh life and they can be different. They don’t have to remain in their sin, there’s hope for tomorrow.”

“I’ve weighed the cost and I’m prepared to go to jail, I sure am,” Mrs. Davis told me in an exclusive interview. “This has never been a gay or lesbian issue for me. This is about upholding the word of God.”

“This is a heaven or hell issue for me and for every other Christian that believes,” she said. “This is a fight worth fighting.”



“I would have to either make a decision to stand or I would have to buckle down and leave,” she said, pondering her choices. “And if I left, resigned or chose to retire, I would have no voice for God’s word.



She once lived for the devil, but now she lives for God. She’s a sinner saved by grace.



So how does she handle the reporters and talking heads who call her a hypocrite?

“All I can say to them is if they have a sordid past like what I had, they too can receive the cleansing and renewing, and they can start a fresh life and they can be different,” she said. “They don’t have to remain in their sin, there’s hope for tomorrow.”

Davis did not seek the national spotlight. She had no intention of becoming a spokeswoman for religious liberty, and she bristles at the idea that she is a hero of the faith.

“I’m just a vessel God has chosen for this time and this place,” she said. “I’m no different than any other Christian. It was my appointed time to stand, and their time will come.”

Such remarks come as no surprise from an official who earlier this week cited “God’s authority” as a reason why she doesn’t have to respect the court system and who told one gay couple at her office that they should prepare for God’s judgment.

Another Kentucky clerk who refuses to follow the marriage equality ruling, Casey Davis (no relation), has said that he is not only willing to go to jail over the matter, but is even ready to lose his life.

Pat Robertson: The Gays Won't Rest Until We're All In Jail

Pat Robertson has emerged as one of Kentucky clerk Kim Davis’ staunchest defenders, even warning that orders for Davis to do her job as a public official by respecting the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling may lead to divine retribution in the form of a massive financial collapse.

Today, the “700 Club” host continued to defend Davis, claiming that she has no responsibility to follow the court’s decision striking down bans on same-sex marriage.

The televangelist explained that the ultimate goal of “the gays” is to put Davis and other gay rights opponents in prison for their stance.

The Constitution says the supreme law of the land is the Constitution, duly ratified treaties and laws passed by the Congress and signed into law by the president. That’s the law. Judicial decisions do not constitute the law. You’re not obligated to do that.

So this whole thing is — putting her in jail and so forth — is nonsense. But it will happen and it’s just the beginning, it’s the warmup of this battle. And I want you to know right now, you’ve heard it here, the gays do not just want to be recognized, they do not want to be accepted, they do not want to have just freedom, they want everybody to agree with them and everybody who doesn’t agree with them and does not comport with their way of thinking, they want to be punished, put in jail, or fined. That’s the way they want it and you might as well get used to it.

Mike Huckabee Hails Kim Davis For Flouting Supreme Court On Gay Marriage

Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said in a statement today that he had called Kentucky clerk Kim Davis to congratulate her for her “courage and humility” in defying the Supreme Court’s decision on marriage equality.

Huckabee’s stance doesn’t come as a surprise, as the former Arkansas governor has said that gay people can never be truly married and called the Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling illegitimate. Huckabee even signed a pledge vowing to defy the court on marriage, a pledge coincidentally authored by Davis’ attorney, Liberty Counsel head Mat Staver.

“Because Congress has made no law allowing for same sex marriage, Kim does not have the constitutional authority to issue a marriage license to homosexual couples,” Huckabee said in the statement, before applauding her for refusing to bow “to the false God of judicial supremacy” and defending herself against “Washington elites who have nothing but disdain for us, our faith and Constitution.”

Another presidential candidate, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said that Davis’ decision to break the law is “part of the American way.” Shortly after the Supreme Court’s decision, Gov. Bobby Jindal, R-La., said that clerks in his state should be allowed to deny marriage licenses to gay couples if it conflicts with their personal beliefs, even though in 2009 the governor tried to fire a local official after he denied a marriage license to an interracial couple after citing personal objections to interracial marriage.

"I spoke with Kim Davis this morning to offer my prayers and support,” Huckabee said. “I let her know how proud I am of her for not abandoning her religious convictions and standing strong for religious liberty. She is showing more courage and humility than just about any federal office holder in Washington.

"Kim is asking the perfect question: 'Under what law am I authorized to issue homosexual couples a marriage license?' That simple question is giving many in Congress a civics lesson that they never got in grade school,” Huckabee added. "The Supreme Court cannot and did not make a law. They only made a ruling on a law. Congress makes the laws. Because Congress has made no law allowing for same sex marriage, Kim does not have the constitutional authority to issue a marriage license to homosexual couples.

"Kim is a person of great conviction,” Huckabee continued. “When people of conviction fight for what's right they often pay a price, but if they don't and we surrender, we will pay a far greater price for bowing to the false God of judicial supremacy. Government is not God. No man - and certainly no unelected lawyer - has the right to redefine the laws of nature or of nature's God. Five unelected lawyers have abused their power by ruling in favor of a national right to same-sex marriage with no legal precedent and with nothing in our Constitution to back it up. They have violated American's most fundamental right guaranteed by our Constitution - religious liberty.

"I stand with Kim Davis and every American of faith under attack by Washington elites who have nothing but disdain for us, our faith and the Constitution,” Huckabee concluded.

Mike Huckabee: Appoint Antonin Scalia 'Clones' To The Supreme Court

After fielding questions from slavery apologist Douglas Wilson about gay marriage and Planned Parenthood in a recent Google hangout with Religious Right activists, Mike Huckabee also told the fringe pastor about his vision for the Supreme Court.

Huckabee said that Antonin Scalia is his “favorite” justice on the bench, adding that the justice had proved himself to be “a heck of a shot” on their hunting trips together. Huckabee also complimented the “brilliant” Samuel Alito, the “very solid legal scholar” Clarence Thomas and even Chief Justice John Roberts, commending his dissent in the Supreme Court’s “derogatory” marriage equality ruling.

“I would find out if they had been cloned and, if they had, I’d go look for those people,” he said referring to Scalia and Thomas.

Mike Huckabee Will Never Refer To Gay People's Marriages As 'Marriage'

GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee promised in a recent Google hangout with conservative activists that he will never call gay people’s marriages “marriage” because “marriage does have a definition and that’s not it.”

Huckabee fielded a question from Douglas Wilson, a controversial Reconstructionist pastor who once proposed exiling gay people and coauthored with a Southern separatist a pamphlet defending slavery, about what he would do to prevent “the same-sex mirage” from victimizing Christians, prompting the former Arkansas governor to declare that he would not recognize same-sex couples as married.

“The agenda here is not simply to have the freedom for same-sex relationships called marriage, I refuse to say that that’s marriage because marriage does have a definition and that’s not it,” Huckabee said. “The assault is on something deeper than just the institution of marriage.”

Predicting that gay marriage will put Christian-led hospitals and universities “out of business,” Huckabee said he would direct the Justice Department to defend people who are supposedly being oppressed by gay marriage. He specifically pointed to the Oregon bakers who violated a state nondiscrimination law — not marriage law — by denying service to a gay couple.

“I’d love for the Department of Justice to be sent in to defend the Klein’s against an outrageous attack on their religious liberty,” he said.

In the conversation, which W. Scott Lamb of Reformation Press posted online two weeks ago, Huckabee also repeated his call for elected officials to defy the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling and his warning that gay marriage will lead to anti-Christian persecution

Religious Right Hails Kim Davis As 'Modern Day Christian Martyr'

As Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk Kim Davis continues to bar her office from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in defiance of the Supreme Court, the Religious Right is attempting to turn her into the latest martyr in the supposed persecution of Christians in America.

Davis’ attorneys at the far-right legal organization Liberty Counsel have urged her to break the law, insisting that any court ruling in favor of gay marriage is inherently illegitimate because it violates religious precepts. Another Kentucky clerk who is also refusing to issue marriage licenses boasted that he is willing to lose his life over the matter.

While violating court orders is a bridge too far for some Religious Right activists like Maggie Gallagher and Ryan T. Anderson, other conservative pundits see Davis as a hero for taking on the “gaystapo” and Satan himself.

Franklin Graham took to Facebook today to congratulate Davis for “standing up against the evil being forced on us,” warning that if others don’t emulate Davis, “we won’t even recognize the America that our children and our grandchildren will be left with.”

In a fundraising letter yesterday, the National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown called Davis “the latest victim of gay intolerance and government discrimination and persecution of marriage supporters,” defending her defiance by explaining that the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage was “illegitimate” since “two men cannot be married to each other, nor two women — regardless of what any court states.”

The Foundation for Moral Law, the group founded by Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who led his own battle in defying the federal court system on marriage, issued a statement from its president —  Moore’s wife Kayla Moore —  commending Davis as an example for all Americans and arguing that the Supreme Court’s ruling can be flouted since it defies divine law.

Anti-gay pundit Bill Muehlenberg similarly hailed Davis as a “supersaint” for refusing to “submit fully to the homosexual jackboot” and “the gaystapo,” claiming that she is among the “modern day Christian martyrs.”

When the militant homosexual lobby and its supporters tell you no one will be adversely impacted when homosexual marriage goes through, they are lying. They knew full well that everything changes – for the worse. Everyone must bow the knee and submit fully to the homosexual jackboot. … Try telling these folks that homosexual marriage will not impact them. And while you are at it, try telling Kim Davis this. She is a committed Christian and a Kentucky county clerk who will not allow her faith to be violated by the militants.

She has been another supersaint, standing strong for her faith in the face of severe persecution.



Yet again we see the intolerant activists, coupled with the heavy arm of the rainbow state, seeking to break the will and the resolve of ordinary men and women who choose to put the Lord Jesus Christ over and above the tide of filth and perversion sweeping the land.

These are modern day Christian martyrs, standing steadfast for biblical truth despite everything the gaystapo can throw at them. I and others have been warning about this for many years now. We said this is exactly where we would get to when we start granting special rights to this militant sexual lifestyle group.

Not to be outdone, BarbWire content editor Gina Miller said that the embattled clerk is waging a spiritual war against Satan’s gay army.

Those of us who have been closely watching the advance of this dark movement see exactly where it’s headed: the criminalization of Christianity. We have been warning of this for years, and it’s becoming clearer by the day that we’re right. While the aggressive, God-hating homosexual activists hurl their vicious lies and senseless insults at us, we are being proven right, inch by inch, day by day, as the homosexual/“transgender” behemoth claims more ground of our freedoms. Just ask the Kleins of Sweet Cakes bakery, Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Bakery and numerous others who came before Kim Davis in their resistance to the hijacked-rainbow brigade’s evil schemes.

I have repeated myself over and over again for years now. The homosexual movement, including its related perversions like “transgenderism,” has nothing to do with “equality” or marriage (other than to destroy it). It’s about the destruction of freedom, and specifically, the destruction of Christian freedom. Truth does not change, and the truth about homosexuality does not change. Homosexual behavior is sin. It’s destructive and dangerous. It’s unnatural. It’s immoral. It’s a gross perversion of God’s design for human sexuality. It’s naturally repulsive to those who retain a functioning moral compass. The same goes for “transgenderism.” People who imagine or pretend that they are members of the opposite sex are in open, degenerate rebellion against God, reality and nature. Whether this is due to mental illness or not, it’s still dead wrong.

The God-haters in this movement and their fellow travelers in positions of power will not stop until Christianity is criminalized. At its heart, this is a manifestation of the battle Satan has waged against God and His people. It is demonic influence that drives these homosexuals to target Christians, in order to crush their freedoms. This county clerk in Kentucky is a target because she is a Christian. These Godless degenerates now have the force of bad law on their side. Bad law—immoral law—is tyranny. Tyranny is what Satan desires over humanity, and he will get it, as the Bible has forewarned us.

The radical homosexual movement is one of the foremost tools the devil is using to topple our freedom, and if we had a thousand county clerks like Kim Davis stand up to this lawless edict from the federal courts, we might stand a chance of beating it back. But there are not many Christians of such courage today.

Dark times are falling on this nation, and there are numerous fronts of evil that are working in concert to destroy the Godly foundation of freedom upon which the United States was founded. Barack Obama (or whatever his name is) is an enemy of all that is right and true, and he is certainly a treasonous enemy of our country. He is a strong supporter and pusher of the militant homosexual agenda. He is part of God’s judgment on this wayward nation that has forcefully expelled God from the public square. Whether it’s the communistic “global warming” agenda, the homosexualist agenda or even the lunatic “black lives matter” racist agenda, all these are heads of the same tyrannical hydra. They all seek to bring tyranny down on the American people. (emphasis added)

Pat Robertson: Financial System Will Not Survive Gay Marriage

Pat Robertson, who last week suggested that turmoil in the stock market was divine punishment for government funding of Planned Parenthood, today alleged that the legalization of gay marriage will anger God to the point that it will lead to a massive financial crash.

While repeating his defense of Kentucky official Kim Davis, the county clerk who is barring her office from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, Robertson lamented that homosexuality is no longer illegal in America.

“Isn’t it a shame, there was a time that homosexuality was considered an aberration, it was illegal, as a matter of fact, and the thought of two homosexuals marrying one another was just undreamed of, we couldn’t even conceive of it,” he said. “And now the Supreme Court of the United States has said that this is a constitutional right and, in the process, they are upending the traditions of thousands of years of the Judeo-Christian faith.”

Robertson said that the financial system may not survive gay marriage: “God Almighty is looking down on this nation and, folks, I want to tell you that our finances right now are hanging by a thread, the rupture of the entire financial framework of our world is so tenuous right now and if there is was ever a time that we need the grace of God, it is now. And unless something is done to change the courts and to change the way this country is going, it is just a question of time before the fabric ruptures and we’ll all suffer because of it.”

Share this page: Facebook Twitter Digg SU Digg Delicious