Anti-gay Kentucky clerk Kim Davis has been given plenty of dubious legal advice by her attorneys, the anti-gay fringe group Liberty Counsel. It was no surprise, then, to see Liberty Counsel founder and chairman Mathew Staver claim that “it’s really questionable” whether the Supreme Court has “any constitutional authority” to strike down same-sex marriage bans. What was surprising, however, was that Fox News host Gregg Jarrett actually criticized Staver, calling his statement “stunningly obtuse.” His guest, criminal defense attorney Sharon Liko, chimed in to note that Jarrett hadn’t quite captured the inanity of Staver’s assertion: It was, in fact, “ridiculously stupid.”
What we’re seeing here is the right’s continued realization that Davis is an absolutely atrocious mascot for the cause of religious liberty. Davis herself is an unsympathetic, martyrdom-seeking lawbreaker; her attorneys are questioning the constitutional authority of the very institution they are asking for help. That is not a winning strategy—but then, the Liberty Counsel has always seemed less concerned with winning Davis’ case than with maximizing its own fame and fortune. When even Fox News balks, it’s time to pull back on the SCOTUS-bashing.