Defiant Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis Was Just Released from Jail


Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue any marriage licenses because of her objection to gay marriage, was met on Thursday afternoon by a large, raucous crowd of supporters after spending over five days in jail. In front of news cameras, a visibly emotional Davis left most of the talking her lawyer, and to Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee, who declared Davis “an incredibly brave lady.”

US District Judge David Bunning, who held Davis in contempt last Thursday, ordered her release this morning after receiving a report that the Rowan County clerk’s office is now complying with the court’s ruling. But the judge threatened additional sanctions if Davis impedes the process, and has called for status reports to be filed every two weeks. From The New York Times:

In a two-page order issued Tuesday, the judge who sent her to jail, David L. Bunning of the Federal District Court, said he would release Ms. Davis because he was satisfied that her office was “fulfilling its obligation to issue marriage licenses to all legally eligible couples.”

Judge Bunning ordered that Ms. Davis “shall not interfere in any way, directly or indirectly, with the efforts of her deputy clerks to issue marriage licenses to all legally eligible couples.” He he said that any such action would be regarded as “a violation” of his released order.

Still, the storm is far from over. Davis, an Apostolic Christian who cited “God’s authority” in her refusal to adhere to the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling ending bans on gay marriage, has gained national notoriety, provoking rallies from both sides of the issue. Heralded as a hero by Christian conservatives, she was joined by Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee who spoke at the rally for her release, which he helped organize.

Watch Huckabee’s full post-release comments below, including his declaration that, “If somebody needs to go to jail, I’m willing to go in her place.”

MORE HARD-HITTING JOURNALISM

In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones, a special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.