The Slatest

Kim Davis Is Back at Work but Likely Won’t Be Stopping Anyone From Getting Married

A protester outside the Rowan County Judicial Center in Morehead, Kentucky, on Sept. 9.

Chris Tilley/Reuters

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis returned to work Monday in Kentucky, announcing that she will continue to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples but that she will not attempt to prevent her deputies from doing so.

Davis, however, also said that she does not want her name to appear on any same-sex couples’ licenses and that “any marriage license issued by my office will not be issued or authorized by me.” Under Kentucky law, the documents must include “an authorization statement of the county clerk issuing the license” to be valid. There hasn’t yet been any legal challenge made to the licenses issued in her absence, which claim the authority of the “Rowan County County Clerk” but don’t use her name specifically. It appears that the licenses will continue to be given out in that manner. From the AP:

The deputy clerk who handed them out, Brian Mason … now sits behind a sign that reads “marriage license deputy.” He remained calm, scrolling on his computer and chewing gum, despite the surreal scene unfolding before him. Dozens of television cameras crowded around his counter, with some reporters climbing step ladders to get a better shot of him sitting at his desk.

The AP writes that Kentucky’s “governor, the attorney general and the county attorney” believe the non-Davis licenses are valid. The order issued by federal judge David Bunning that released Davis from jail stated that he believed the clerk’s office was following the law appropriately in Davis’ absence and stipulated that she may again be held in contempt of court if she interferes with the license-issuing process.