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Religious Liberty Does Not Mean Taking Away Others’ Rights

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Religious Liberty Does Not Mean Taking Away Others’ Rights


Just after Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis was released from jail, she appeared at a raucous rally to thank a throng of cheering supporters.

Her stance on same-sex marriage has attracted the high-profile attention of other ultraconservative political figures, including GOP presidential candidates Ted Cruz, who attended the rally, and Mike Huckabee, who organized it.

They seem to believe that Davis has a constitutional right to discriminate against other citizens and to violate the laws of the land. Defending her on CNN, Huckabee said, “We have the first example of the criminalization of a Christian for believing the traditional definition of marriage. It is very, very shocking, to say the least.”

Though he mentioned such luminary historical figures as Jefferson and Lincoln, Huckabee has completely misunderstood the First Amendment and its protections. Davis’ beliefs have not been criminalized; her actions have been. She has every constitutional right to oppose same-sex marriage, to attend a church that denies those marriages, to organize opposition to marriage equality.

But she has no constitutional right to hold the office of Rowan County Clerk and deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Succeeding her mother, who held the office for 37 years, Davis was elected just last year. Still, she has a very easy solution at hand: If her religious views are so rigid, she can resign her office. (A handful of clerks have done that rather than give licenses to same-sex couples.) As a private citizen, she may freely practice her brand of Biblical fundamentalism.

It’s important to get that distinction right.

After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that the government cannot deny marriage to homosexual couples, county clerks around the country were ordered to issue licenses to all couples who wanted the legal bonds of matrimony. A few refused initially, but most came to their senses.

Davis, however, chose to defy the specific order of U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning, and she was jailed for six days for contempt. She was released only after deputies in her office started to issue marriage licenses to “all legally eligible couples,” as the judge put it. He further ordered Davis not to interfere.

If she wants to continue as clerk, she should recognize the generous compromise that she’s been offered. She can continue her bluster and Biblical traditionalism on the speaking circuit if she chooses. But, as Rowan County Clerk, she represents the government. And the government may not discriminate. The First Amendment was adopted by the Founders to ensure that the government did not legitimize any particular set of religious beliefs over another.

Think of it this way: While marriage is often a religious ceremony, it is also a civil rite. Couples get married in city halls and before justices of the peace every day. Those ceremonies may not be offered to one group of citizens — heterosexuals — and withheld from another — homosexuals.

Churches, meanwhile, are free to follow their own theological traditions, which in this country are many and varied. There are churches that endorse, bless and perform same-sex marriages, while others are abhorred by the idea. That’s one example of the nation’s vibrant religious pluralism.

After the high court’s marriage ruling, conservative preachers around the country panicked, insisting that their beliefs were under attack, that they were being persecuted, that they would be ordered to perform marriage rites for homosexuals. Not gonna happen. For centuries, clerics have chosen to perform those ceremonies — baptisms, weddings, funerals — they believed appropriate. No law has ever challenged their decisions.

But the United States is a secular democracy, not a theocracy. We are committed to protecting religious liberty, but the nation cannot allow any group’s religious ideology to strip away another group’s human rights. Sometimes, those conflicting ideals require a delicate balance, as when Catholic hospitals are allowed to refuse to perform abortions — even when doing so jeopardizes a woman’s health.

But Davis’ intransigence requires no Solomonic decision making. She has no right to be Rowan County Clerk. If she won’t do the job, she needs to step aside.

(Cynthia Tucker won a Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 2007. She can be reached at cynthia@cynthiatucker.com.)

Photo: Supporters rally at the Carter County Detention Center for Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis on September 5, 2015. REUTERS/Chris Tilley

Cynthia Tucker Haynes

Cynthia Tucker Haynes, a veteran newspaper journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner, is a Visiting Professor of Journalism and Charlayne Hunter-Gault Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at the University of Georgia. She is also a highly-regarded commentator on TV and radio news shows.

Haynes was editorial page editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper for 17 years, where she led the development of opinion policy. More recently, she was that newspaper’s Washington-based political columnist. She maintains a syndicated column through Universal Press Syndicate, which is published in dozens of newspapers around the country. Besides winning the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 2007, Haynes has also received numerous other awards, including Journalist of the Year from the National Association of Black Journalists.

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  1. Dominick Vila September 12, 2015

    What the evangelicals don’t understand is that they are not above the law, and that they don’t have the right to impose their views or values on others. Kim Davis, and others like her, have the right to believe in whatever they wish, but they must bear in mind that when they run for public office they are expected to abide by the law. Kim Davis refused to comply with a Supreme Court decision, based on a constitutional interpretation by the latter. If she does not like it, and doing what she is expected to do violates her religious convictions, she should resign and volunteer her time at the local Church.

    1. Independent1 September 12, 2015

      And it should go beyond public office. People who are ultra religious, and quite often misinterpret the Bible to suit their own misguided ideas, should not be starting businesses that serve the public; where they can also choose to discriminate against people who do not share their misguided beliefs.

      1. OWEN jhonson September 12, 2015

        what about the faschist govnt not upholding the constitution, taking away our freedom of worship, infiltrating the christian churches ,threatening preachers an their congregations. our bill of rights are all being infringed by a faschist Nazi govnt

        1. Polana September 12, 2015

          Under Hitler , U little pea brain U could worship the Devil, he didn’t care, but he did care about eliminating people like U.
          Too bad your mother didn’t use Planned Parenthood services.

        2. CrankyToo September 12, 2015

          You could be the Fox Noise poster child.

        3. charleo1 September 12, 2015

          Now, now. The Religious Right Wingers aren’t as bad as all that. A little fascist maybe. With their trying to impose their strict form of Bible Law, on what is a primarily tolerant, and secularist democracy. But, I believe they would be different if they weren’t being lied to so much. Poor little things.

        4. Böcker September 13, 2015

          Oh please, go live in Somalia if you don’t like the government.

    2. latebloomingrandma September 12, 2015

      Perhaps she should visit the Middle East and see what it feels like to be a REAL victim of religious persecution. Her little stunt is denigrating to those to those actual people getting killed and maimed. There is nothing about her to admire.

      1. Blueberry Hill September 12, 2015

        Or just send her; I certainly don’t want to go.


    3. jmprint September 12, 2015

      They can’t even understand that thy are not above God either.

    4. itsfun September 12, 2015

      When she ran for office, the law in Kentucky forbid same sex marriage.

      1. Dominick Vila September 13, 2015

        Which means that now that the Supreme Court ruled on this issue, her choices are to either comply or resign.

        1. itsfun September 13, 2015

          I don’t think the law has been changed yet.

          1. Dominick Vila September 13, 2015

            Our laws must abide by the tenets in the Constitution. There was no ambiguity in the Supreme Court’s decision on this subject. Mrs. Davis is free to believe in whatever she wishes, but she does not have the right to impose her beliefs on others, or ignore a legal decision made by the Supreme Court.
            It really does not matter if a person is an elected official or someone working in the private sector. When our bosses tell us to do something we either do it, or we must look for another job. Anarchy and religious despotism are not an option. At least not yet.

          2. itsfun September 13, 2015

            You know the Supreme Court cannot make any law or has the police power to enforce any opinions they make. My point is the laws can only be changed or made by the legislative branch of government, not the judicial. The executive branch signs laws into effect or vetoes. If vetoed, then its back to the drawing board. she was obeying Kentucky State law. If we allow the judiciary branch to make laws, then we will have anarchy. I am not saying I agree with her, but we must make sure to keep the three branches of government separate.

          3. Dominick Vila September 13, 2015

            I agree with what you aid, except the part of having anarchy if our three branches of government override state rights. I think better terms may be dictatorial powers or totalitarianism.
            Since I don’t know if the Kentucky State government has changed its laws to comply with the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Constitution, I can’t comment on that. Having said that, Mrs. Davis’ argument does not mention Kentucky’s State Law, a man made law that according to her statements take a back seat to the God’s law, or more accurately, her interpretation of what “God” expects from us.
            Kim Davis is a Democrat, and a Pentecostal, I would not vote for to fill a vacancy for dog catcher.

          4. itsfun September 13, 2015

            I doubt if I could vote for her either. To me, this case shows how devoted both sides are to their beliefs or feelings, prejudices or whatever. My whole point in my post was to show this is not going away anytime soon, if ever.

          5. Independent1 September 13, 2015

            Your stupidity seems to know no bounds!! This decision has already gone away except in the minds of crazies such as yourself!!!

          6. Böcker September 13, 2015

            Gays can now marry across the nation, deal with reality, that is what the supreme court ruling means.

          7. itsfun September 13, 2015

            I don’t care who marries who. Just saying the Supreme Court cannot and does not make laws.

          8. Insinnergy September 13, 2015

            Just. So. Stupid.
            Please stop replying.
            It’s obvious you don’t even understand your own government branches at the 5 year old level.

          9. itsfun September 14, 2015

            You are showing your ignorance. Just what branch of government do you think makes laws?

          10. Insinnergy September 15, 2015

            It’s utterly irrelevant. All branches have their own controls over which laws are followed and how they are followed.
            Example: Presidential executive action on immigration.
            Example 2: Judicial counter suit against executive action on immigration.
            Example 3: District Court ruling that Kim Davis must resume issuing marriage licenses to all or be in contempt.

            When the Supreme Court gives it’s opinion that a law is not constitutional… WTF do you think happens?
            If a law is found to transgress the Constitution then that law is no longer a valid law by definition.

            This is why you are an idiot.

          11. itsfun September 16, 2015

            Didn’t the President take an oath to enforce ALL of the laws, not just the ones he likes? If you would bother to do any research you would learn the Supreme Court has no power to enforce anything. They give opinions, then the lower courts will take action accordingly if asked to. Historically people and lower courts do what the Supreme Court says, but the Supreme Court itself has no police, legislative, or executive power. Try doing a little research before you start name calling. Your name calling is only a sign of a weak mind trying to express itself.

      2. Böcker September 13, 2015

        Doesn’t matter, federal law trumps state law. She doesn’t get to decide what law to obey.

      3. FireBaron September 13, 2015

        Doesn’t matter. If they changed the law on dog licenses, she would still have to follow what is currently on the books. What you have refused to understand in all of your posts is that the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell voided all state laws that ban Same Sex Marriage as in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. This is the same clause that was invoked in the Brown and Loving decisions that overturned “separate but equal (Plessey v. Fergusson), and interracial marriage bans.
        If you don’t like it, move to some country where it is illegal for gays to marry, like Uganda, Russia, Iran or China. Then see how long your diatribes against laws and the governments that make them last!

  2. gmccpa September 12, 2015

    The actual Constitution means nothing to these people. They conveniently believe our Constitution is merely an extension of the Bible and/or the Ten Commandments. They are not interested in religious freedom. Instead they want religious dominance.

    1. FireBaron September 12, 2015

      This has been going in since the 1600s. Read the story behind the “Pilgrims” at Plymouth. They were pretty much forced to leave England after trying to force both them and the Dutch to conform to the way THEY believed people should worship.
      The Plymouth Company offered them an opportunity to leave England and live the way they thought they should. Here is the problem. The vast majority of the Separatists (as the rest of England called them) were shopkeepers. They were not farmers, and had no real “industrial” skills. So, they contracted husbandmen, carpenters, smiths, coopers, etc. to join them. Then they required all the men to agree to worship the way THEY wanted – this included Puritans, Presbyterians and Church of England members.
      If you jump forward about one hundred fifty years, in Virginia, if you wanted to hold public office, you had to be a member of the Church of England. In Maryland, even though the colony was founded by Catholics, had a law that specifically restricted Catholics from holding public office. It was only in the late 1750s that Connecticut finally removed a law from its books restricting public office holders to Congregationalists.

      So, you can see the history of the religiously intolerant has been with us for a long time.

  3. Don Belanger September 12, 2015

    This article gets it right. There are TWO aspects to marriage—–Civil and religious.

    1. yabbed September 12, 2015

      All marriage is a civil contract. A religious ceremony can be added to the event, but marriage is wholly a civil contract controlled by the government.

    2. Police Corruption November 23, 2015

      NYPD paid to sabotage me and kill me. Please watch and share. https://youtu.be/soJbll6IyRw

  4. Richard Elvers September 12, 2015

    Davis is a hypocrite been married 4 times when husband 2 and had babies from another guy until she wed him no.3 whats going on here shes going to hell .

  5. Blueberry Hill September 12, 2015

    Religion has no place in our Government. We never were intended to be run by the Bible or religion. If one wants a religious, go to Church, that is what the churches are for.


  6. sunjune September 12, 2015

    The decision is clear for Kim Davis to make. The job of County Clerk requires issuing marriage licenses, and if she can’t do that, based on her religion, she needs to resign and find another job.

  7. yabbed September 12, 2015

    America is not a theocracy. Religious liberty means we can each choose to hold whatever religious beliefs we please and worship according to our choice. It does not mean we can impose our religious beliefs on others. That is exactly what the Founding Fathers were avoiding. If Kim Davis or anyone else wishes to live in a theocracy I suggest they move to the Middle East and take their choice.

  8. rednekokie September 12, 2015

    Very well written, and straight to the point.
    Anyone who cannot understand the basic law of the land needs to read up on it.

  9. Whatmeworry September 12, 2015

    So religious accommodation only works if your a Mooslim I tkeit

    1. johninPCFL September 12, 2015

      There is no governmental “religious accommodation” that allows anyone to openly discriminate against an American citizen. That ended with the elimination of Jim Crow laws in the south.

      1. Whatmeworry September 12, 2015

        Guess there are no newspapers where you live

        1. Daniel Max Ketter September 13, 2015

          I only read smut, but my family reads newspapers and magazines.

        2. Whatmeworry September 13, 2015

          Guess there are no pornography where you live

      2. FireBaron September 13, 2015

        Well, sorta.

    2. itsfun September 12, 2015

      You are right. A Muslim woman working at a well known store sued them because her muslim attire was not according to their dress code. The court said the company had to let her wear her muslim attire for religious reasons.

      1. Charles van Rotterdam September 12, 2015

        If you can’t see the difference between Constitional Law and a business’ “Dress Code” then the US educational system is really in a bad way

        1. itsfun September 13, 2015

          If you can’t see the similarities in the two cases, then the US educational system is really in a bad way.

          1. JPHALL September 13, 2015

            YEAH RIGHT! The Muslim women lost her job and sued for reinstatement. Just like the Muslim airline attendant who refused to serve alcohol. Neither refused to do their jobs. That is the main difference with Davis.

          2. itsfun September 13, 2015

            Refusing to serve alcohol was refusing to do her job.

          3. JPHALL September 13, 2015

            She did not refuse to do her non serving of alcohol duties. Kim Davis refused to issue any marriage licenses. That is no license for Gays or Straights. Subject: Re: Comment on Religious Liberty Does Not Mean Taking Away Others’ Rights

          4. itsfun September 13, 2015

            Part of her job is serving alcohol. She refused to do that part of her job. Are you saying a bartender can refuse to serve beer, but will serve wine.

          5. JPHALL September 13, 2015

            No, I am saying the Muslim woman agreed to do the rest of her job (Seating, serving food, other drinks). Davis refused to do her job or allow others in the office to do their jobs. As to your silly comparison, then a pacifist can refuse to issue gun licenses because of his personal beliefs. By the way, minors can work in a restaurant but in most states can not serve alcohol. Real simple! Subject: Re: Comment on Religious Liberty Does Not Mean Taking Away Others’ Rights

      2. Whatmeworry September 13, 2015

        Yep and your a moron for that thanking religious accommodations go beyond Mooslim

      3. FireBaron September 13, 2015

        No. She sued them because they would not hire her because, as a devout Muslim, she wore the Hajib. Get it right, if you’re gonna misquote cases.

    3. Daniel Max Ketter September 13, 2015

      You are wrong. Why my wife Linda is a practicing Muslim, along with our girl Becky. I do everything to accommodate them, and its never been a problem.

    4. Whatmeworry September 26, 2015

      Christian and jewes should respect and tolerate Muslim religion and the Koran

  10. daffodilly September 12, 2015

    Mrs. Davis and current hubby thought they’d clean-up on go-fund-me until the site said no way. There is no other place in this great country that anyone would pay someone of her caliber 80,000. per year to do anything. They’d best go back into their hidey hole.

  11. Lynda Groom September 12, 2015

    Cynthia, unfortunately the very folks who need to get your message don’t have the mental facilities to grasp your simple message. It is a sign of the times and just how far off the rails the nitwit have travelled since Obama became the Commander in Chief.

  12. itsfun September 12, 2015

    I think there was a law in Kentucky forbidding same sex marriage when she got elected. I don’t think that law has been removed yet. The Supreme Court doesn’t make laws. It gives opinions on the constitutionally of existing laws. People can call it the law of the land, buts its not. Laws are made by the Legislative branch of government. They can be signed into law by the executive branch. If the executive branch doesn’t sign the law, then the legislative branch can try to over ride the veto or make changes and send it back to the executive branch. Judges don’t make laws. Its not their job and they have NO constitutional authority to make laws. The Supreme Court doesn’t even have the power to put someone in the slammer. I don’t know which side of this issue is right, but I don’t believe she broke any existing Kentucky state laws. This issue will hang around like the abortion issue. people on both sides are completely dedicated to their sides.

    1. @HawaiianTater September 12, 2015

      I know a lot of people struggle to understand this concept but the SCOTUS did not write any new laws. What they did is rule that SSM bans are unconstitutional, making all remaining bans null and void. That means there is no more law in Kentucky banning SSM. Nullifying a law is not the same thing as writing a law but some people can’t or won’t accept that.

      1. itsfun September 13, 2015

        Their ruling does not make any laws null and void. They can only issue opinions. They have no police power to enforce anything. Now it is up to the legislative branch of government to make a new law or change the existing laws. That is where the power is to make and change laws. Then the executive branch will either sign or veto the law. If vetoed, its back to the drawing board for the legislative branch.

        1. @HawaiianTater September 13, 2015

          I can only explain it to you. I can’t help you with understanding it. It’s hilarious how wrong you are that you think the SCOTUS can only issue opinions that no one has to abide by. What do you think they are doing? Offering suggestions? LOL! “Uh, hey guys, we think this law is unconstitutional, but you don’t have to change it if you don’t want to. After all, we only issue opinions.”

          When the SCOTUS rules that a law is unconstitutional, that means exactly what it says it means. It means the law is unconstitutional. Unconstitutional laws are no longer valid as laws. The laws do not remain on the books until the legislative branch decides on whether or not they want to change it. If that were the case, there would be no point in even having a SCOTUS. The fact that anyone is ignorant enough to not know how this works makes me depressed for the education system in this country. Learning the roles of the 3 branches should be pretty basic stuff but so many fail to grasp the concept. You seem to have the first 2 down. Legislative writes the laws. Executive signs or vetoes the laws. And… wait for it… Judicial has the power to rule on whether or not a law is constitutional. When they do, the law is no longer a law. When they ruled that SSM bans were unconstitutional, every remaining SSM ban was immediately nullified. Period. End of story. Fin.

          1. itsfun September 13, 2015

            Author: UShistory.org

            As you will read, they have no power, its takes a act of the Legislature to overturn or void a law.
            9c. The Supreme Court: What Does It Do?

            The justices are somehow different from other well-known figures in government. They dress in long black robes. They almost never appear on magazine covers, and they seem to stay on the court forever. They announce their decisions periodically, then disappear into their “Marble Palace.”

            In anger, President Franklin Roosevelt once called them “nine old men.” What connections do they have to real-world government and politics, and what work do they do? The power of the Court is reflected in the work it does, and its decisions often shape policy as profoundly as any law passed by Congress or any action taken by the president.

            The Power of Choice

            The Supreme Court chose to hear the case United States v. the Claimants of the Amistad (1841) because of its implications to the United States’s foreign relations. The case was documented in Steven Spielberg’s 1997 movie, Amistad.

            The Court receives about 7,000 petitions every year. It has almost complete control over which cases it will hear. The justices choose about 90 percent of their 100 to 120 cases by writ of certiorari, an order to send up a case record from a lower court.

            Typically, the justices discuss any cases one of them has recommended from earlier readings. The Rule of Four governs their choices: if four justices vote to hear a case, all nine agree to it.

            How do they choose their cases? Generally, the Court considers only cases that have far-reaching implications beyond the two parties involved in the dispute. For example, a case in which a student sues an assistant principal for searching a locker may shape the privacy rights of all students in public schools. The court also tends to hear cases in which two lower courts have reached conflicting decisions. And it tends to look closely at lower court decisions that contradict earlier Supreme Court decisions.

            Hearing and Deciding a Case

            NAACP lawyers congratulate each other on the decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954). Attorney Thurgood Marshall, center, was later named the first African American justice of the Supreme Court.

            Hearings begin in October every year, and the last cases are usually heard in June. The justices receive briefs, or summaries of arguments, from the lawyers ahead of time. Often they receive amici curiae, or briefs prepared by interest groups or government agencies that support one side or the other. The hearings are open to the public and are strictly timed. Each side has 30 minutes to present its case, and the justices typically ask questions and even debate one another during the allotted time.

            After the public hearing the justices meet together privately to discuss the case. They share their opinions, debate the issues, and eventually come to a conclusion. Each justice takes a side individually, and because there are nine justices (an uneven number), one side always wins.

            Announcing and Implementing a Decision

            When the Court announces a decision, the individual justice’s opinions are revealed. A unanimous decision (9-0) indicates that the justices were in total agreement. This vote is rare because the cases that have been chosen are the tough ones. Decisions are usually split 6-3, 7-2, or 5-4.

            Along with the decisions, the justices release explanations for each side. A majority opinion is prepared (usually by the senior justice on that side), and the justices whose point of view did not prevail release a dissenting opinion. A justice who agrees with the majority decision but reaches the same conclusion for different reasons sometimes presents a concurring opinion.

            The Supreme Court comprises one chief justice, and a number of associate justices that is determined by Congress. Today, there are a total of nine justices.

            The power of the Court to implement its decisions is limited. For example, in the famous 1954 case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, the justices ruled that racial segregation (separate but equal) in public places is unconstitutional. But, it took many years for school districts to desegregate.

            The Court has no means (such as an army) to force implementation. Instead, it must count on the executive and legislative branches to back its decisions. In the Civil Rights Movement, the Court led the way, but the other branches had to follow before real change could take place.

            Despite the Supreme Court’s limitations in implementing decisions, the justices often set policies that lead to real social change. So even though justices don’t do a great deal of their work in public, and most Americans don’t have a good sense of what they do, their decisions are very important. The Supreme Court has real power in the American political system.

            Suggest a Link

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          2. @HawaiianTater September 13, 2015

            *yawns* At least you know how to copy & paste. Now learn some critical thinking skills. Anyone can find anything on the internet to back up their delusional views. You’d fit right in with the Flat Earth Society.

          3. FireBaron September 13, 2015

            I guess his “civics” or “American History” classes didn’t cover Marbury v. Madison, Dred Scott, Brown v. Board of Education, Loving v. Virginia or Roe. But, he can probably recite Gore v. Bush, People’s United and Hobby Lobby ones!

          4. itsfun September 13, 2015

            Its called research try it sometime.

          5. Independent1 September 13, 2015

            A big part of research is being smart enough to see when a website is posting material that is clearly convoluted and wrong!! Something you clearly aren’t smart enough to do.

          6. @HawaiianTater September 13, 2015

            Let’s eat Grandma!
            Let’s eat, Grandma!
            Commas save lives.

            You fail at basic grammar. It’s entirely unsurprising that you also fail at understanding the basic concepts of our legal system.

          7. Independent1 September 13, 2015

            Wow!! You just keep showing your stupidity by referencing these RWNJ revisionist websites that have been contrived to record history in a convoluted way that suites our objectives and clear STUPIDITY!!!

        2. jmprint September 13, 2015

          They can damnnnn sure hold you in contempt…and throw you in jail for it.

          1. itsfun September 13, 2015

            No the Supreme Court cannot throw anyone in jail. She was jailed by a federal court judge for not obeying him. The Supreme Court has no police power at all.

          2. Independent1 September 13, 2015

            Really, then explain why there are many people who think the most important part of the 2016 election is voting in the President who may have the opportunity to appoint more than one judge to the SCOTUS; an opportunity that may well change the direction of the nation for decades to come.

            If the SCOTUS has no powers, including police powers (and they do have police power just by default based on the decisions they make) why would so many be saying the 2016 election is crucial to the direction America will take in the long term future???? (Police departments also have to abide by SCOTUS decisions.)

        3. JPHALL September 13, 2015

          You are correct. But according to the US Constitution, and most of the US presidents since Andrew Jackson, it is the Executive branches job to see to the enforcement of their decisions.

    2. Böcker September 13, 2015

      New flash for ya federal law trumps state law so it doesn’t matter if the state of Kentucky removes this law or not, gays can now marry across the nation and that includes the state of Kentucky.

      1. itsfun September 13, 2015

        When was a federal law passed? Which President signed it into law?

        1. RED September 14, 2015

          Ahh, the logic or lack thereof of the ignorant Cons. How do you get to be so ignorant? You’ve truly gotta work at that kind of stupidity. Maybe we could just ship all the Cons off to some island and just let them accuse each other of being witches and not Con enough until they were just all gone like a bad dream.

          1. itsfun September 14, 2015

            do some research on what powers the Supreme court has.

          2. RED September 14, 2015

            I don’t need to do any research, I already finished 6 th grade. Sadly the Con sickness makes you think that right wing nut job propaganda counts as research. It does not. The court clearly has the power to decide the constitutionality of laws, only morons don’t recognize this and think that because the SC doesn’t have a police force that it’s decisions are not legally binding. That’s the thought processes of a moron suffering terribly from the Con sickness!

          3. itsfun September 14, 2015

            The Court does rule on the constitutionality of laws. No one is saying they don’t. However their rulings are not laws. After they give their opinion, then the people that made the law have the option to change or get rid of the law. Typically that is what happens. If they do or don’t then the ones that started the case can take it back to the originating court and that court will then rule in favor of the ones bringing the case. The Supreme cannot make or change any law.

          4. Paul Bass September 14, 2015

            In this case, the SC didn’t change any law, they just threw out “unconstitutional” state law. Federal law is “superior” to state law, so no laws were changed, just discriminatory state laws were thrown out.
            And yes, this is the actual job of the SC, to look over and throw out bad laws. But you are right, the SC does NOT make or change laws, just throws out unconstitutional laws.

          5. RED September 14, 2015

            Thanks Paul, that’s exactly what occurred and what the Supreme Court does. Apparently though these concepts are too difficult for the minds of those afflicted with the Con sickness. The Con sickness seems to damage their brains in a way that makes it difficult to grasp elementary school concepts and renders them incapable of recognizing the hypocrisy of their ignorant positions and beliefs. Sad really.

          6. Paul Bass September 14, 2015

            Yes a perfect example of the Dunning-Kruger effect. (Look it up it’s great).
            Basically it’s a cognitive bias among stupid people that makes them think they are smarter than they are. Interestingly this was proved experimentally, with actual people in the real world. Leading further credence to its credibility.

          7. itsfun September 14, 2015

            Paul: They don’t throw out laws. That takes action by the State Legislatures. Now that happens in 100% of the rulings, but the Supreme only rules a law unconstitutional, then the legislative branch does the actual changing or throwing out the law.

          8. Paul Bass September 14, 2015

            Yes, itsfun you flunked 7th grade civics didn’t you?

            ALL those discriminatory state laws are now VOID! Gone Nada!

            The state legislatures do NOTHING! All those laws are now invalid! Federal law is superior to ALL state laws. They can try to amend the law to comply with SC, but the KY anti-gay law is gone.
            Yes, the SC does throw out law, that is in fact, their job.

          9. itsfun September 14, 2015

            And just what federal law are you talking about? There is no federal law about same sex marriage.
            If you want to talk about federal law, there is one against smoking weed. So why doesn’t the federal government enforce that law? Maybe because this administration only enforces laws it likes.

          10. Paul Bass September 16, 2015

            You really can’t read can you.

            No federal law is needed you idiot! ALL DISCRIMINATORY state laws are now invalid. Void, Gone. No SSM federal law at all, is even needed!

            And again Diversion about weed, is just a ruse because you got nothing, and want to change the topic. Sorry, you are still wrong.

          11. itsfun September 16, 2015

            You are wrong, just do some research.
            Your name calling is just the sign of a weak mind trying to express its self.

          12. Paul Bass September 16, 2015

            You saying i’m wrong, is just stupid. Your opinion is worth nothing.

            Federal law (even though there is no federal SSM law) is ALWAYS superior to state law.
            This doesn’t mean there has to be any federal law about anything, just that the feds are superior to the states. Remember we fought a war about this in 1860?
            So no, your diversion is just that, shows you have nothing, and are just trying to save face. Sorry you are still wrong. Have a nice day.

          13. itsfun September 16, 2015

            If there is no federal law to break, how can a non-existent federal law be superior to a existing state law?

          14. Paul Bass September 16, 2015

            There is no longer existing state law. Therefore no Federal law is needed. State law is void.

            Therefore Kim is in contempt of FEDERAL law (even though there is no federal SSM law). Because she (like you) CHOOSE to believe (though it is not true) that her conscience and/or state law is better than federal law. Not so, that is commonly referred to as “anarchy”.

          15. itsfun September 16, 2015

            If there is no state or federal law, what law did she break to be put in jail. What you are saying in effect is she got put in jail for her religious beliefs.

            The state laws stay in effect until the states governments remove them.

          16. Paul Bass September 16, 2015

            No, state laws are NOT superior to federal laws. Therefore they do NOT stay in effect if they are illegal (why would an illegal law ever be legal, can you understand that simple statement?).

            Kim was put in jail for being in contempt of federal law. NOT for being in contempt of A federal law. A big difference that you seem incapable of understanding.

            She is not in contempt of a specific law, but in contempt of federal law in general, saying her religion is superior to federal law, which it is not.

          17. itsfun September 16, 2015

            Where did anyone say state law is superior to federal law? Did you read what you said? You said she for jailed for being in contempt of federal law not for being in contempt of a specific law. What federal law did she violate? There is no such thing as a law in general. Either you are making this up as you go along or have no idea of how the legal system works. When was the last time you heard of someone going to trail for breaking a general law?

          18. Paul Bass September 16, 2015

            Sorry you are just too stupid to talk to any more on this topic.

            The “Superiority” of federal law has been in effect for hundreds of years.

            Good bye on this topic, I will point out your continued stupidity on all the other NM sites you haunt with your mendacious stupidity. Have a nice day!

          19. itsfun September 16, 2015

            good luck with you next general lawbreaker case. I hope you don’t go to jail for breaking a general law.

        2. Paul Bass September 14, 2015

          I know I’m talking to a rock, but let me try.

          The SC VOIDED all state laws that are prohibit same-sex marriage.

          Therefore no federal same-sex marriage law was nor will be passed. It isn’t needed.

          Many of the amendments to the US Constitution are about NOT discriminating against one group or another.

          1. itsfun September 14, 2015

            If no laws were broken, how can a judge put someone in jail? The Supreme Court only gives opinions, not make or void laws. The only way State Laws will be changed is by State Legislatures. I am confident this will happen. Do some research and you will discover the Supreme Court has no police or law making powers.

            This throwing her in jail for not breaking a law makes me wonder why the feds aren’t throwing people in jail that smoke weed in states where it is legal, when there is federal law against smoking weed for any reason.

          2. Paul Bass September 14, 2015

            They DID throw her in jail for breaking a law!! It’s called contempt of court!

            Besides which, they aren’t even requiring her to OBEY the law!! They just say she CANNOT prevent her clerks from issuing marriages. She can sit on her fat butt all day and still get paid, as long as she lets her aides issue the marriage licenses.

            Also the feds (Supreme Court) aren’t doing anything here, these are lower level courts addressing this issue.

          3. itsfun September 14, 2015

            check again it is a federal court judge. The Supreme Court is not the only federal court.

          4. Paul Bass September 14, 2015

            As I said, it was a lower level court holding Kim Davis in contempt, not the Supreme Court.

            And, of course, that is how the law works, with lower level courts (state and federal) setting the stage for “big” cases to go up to the Supreme Court, if needed. Obergefell vs. Hodges (SC case for same-sex marriage) is a perfect example of this.

          5. itsfun September 14, 2015

            Where is contempt of court defined as a law?

    3. JPHALL September 13, 2015

      By your logic corporations and individuals are still restricted from unfettered funding of political activities. What states passed laws to allow unfettered money in their elections to match what the Supreme court ruled?

    4. tresameht September 13, 2015

      The SCOTUS declared laws forbidding gay marriage unconstitutional federal law trumps any other law all the time. The court did its job exactly in accordance with the constitution,no new law was written .

  13. Böcker September 13, 2015

    Kim Davis doesn’t want to step down off of the $80,000 gravy train job, that’s is big bucks in her neck of the woods. Average income there is around $13,000 a year. So count on this bigot trying to hang on to her job and continue to block gay people from getting a marriage license.

  14. 1standlastword September 13, 2015

    Hey…wait a minute, didn’t Saul of Tarsus who collected taxes for the state quit his job after his conversion! That would be Paul The chief Apostle!!

    Didn’t all of the early Christians obey the commands of their leaders to obey the laws of the state?

    Modern Christians are mostly reviled today because they are more like Pharisees than good Christians

  15. Insinnergy September 13, 2015

    Elegantly summarized.


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