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Federal judge rejects Kim Davis’ emergency request, using “states’ rights” as his reason

Federal judge rejects Kim Davis’ emergency request, using “states’ rights” as his reason
Kim Davis's mugshot
Kim Davis’s mugshot

The New Civil Rights Movement reports that a federal judge hastily slapped down Rowan County clerk Kim Davis’ latest motion for an emergency request on Friday, using states’ rights as his rationale.

As the post’s author David Badash points out, the move is archly ironic, as right-wingers have been calling the Supreme Court’s ruling in support of same-sex marriage “unconstitutional” as that it violates “states’ rights.”

Davis asked U.S. District Judge David Bunning to provide an “accommodation:” she wants her name removed from all marriage forms so that it doesn’t look like she personally sanctions same-sex marriages.

Bunning writes in his denial:

“In her Motion, Davis suggests that the Court could easily stem the tide of litigation by simply ordering Governor Beshear and Commissioner Onkst to remove her name and authorization from the marriage licence form.

While this is a seemingly simple request, it is not consistent with principles of federalism… Under the Eleventh Amendment, as interpreted by Pennhurst, the Court simply does not have the authority to order Governor Beshear or Commissioner Onkst to alter the marriage license form or amend KRS §402.100 based on alleged violations of Davis’ rights under the Kentucky Constitution and Ky. RFRA. Davis’ claims brought under state law should therefore be brought in Kentucky state court.

To the extent that she seeks relief in the form of such an accommodation for violations of Kentucky state law, only the state court can grant such relief.”


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