WASHINGTON, Sept. 9, 2015 – District Judge David Bunning released Kim Davis, Rowan County Clerk, from her Kentucky jail yesterday. On Sept. 3 the Judge declared her in contempt of court for refusing to comply with his order to issue licenses in compliance with the Supreme Court’s redefinition of marriage in Obergefell vs. Hodges.
In Judge Bunning’s release order, Davis was instructed not to “interfere in any way, directly or indirectly, with the efforts of her deputy clerks to issue marriage licenses to all legally eligible couples.”
And Davis’ five deputies were ordered to “file a status report every fourteen days from the date of entry of this order unless otherwise excused by the court.”
Davis might as well go home.
The happy citizens of Rowan County have a new clerk in the person of Judge Bunning. Unlike Davis, who answers to you – the chumps that elected her – Bunning’s constituents are nine lawyers who fancy themselves a perpetual constitutional convention sitting in a marble building in Washington, D.C.
For that matter, the Kentucky legislature and Gov. Steve Beshear can stay home too. After all, Section 233A of the state constitution says “marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Kentucky.”
The small aforementioned judicial collective is now Kentucky’s legislature and executive branch, not to mention every county and city official – elected or appointed. In fact, they provide the same function for the 49 republics surrounding Kentucky – you know, the states.
Democratic consensus is a messy business. A majority needs to be persuaded concerning a particular course of action that affects us all. And decisions democratically arrived at aren’t always pretty.
On the other hand, it’s a lot simpler to have a Julius Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte or Benito Mussolini make all the choices for us.
No consensus needed.
In Britain, all sovereignty rests in Parliament. In the old American Republic, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
American sovereignty, you see, once rested in the individual, with said individuals ceding a portion of that sovereignty to his or her elected representative. The representative’s first obligation, according to Thomas Jefferson, is to “secure” our individual rights, having derived “their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
The dispenser of rights in post-constitutional America is a fickle majority on what calls itself the “high court.”
Hail Caesar! Hail the Supreme Court! Hail Judge Bunning!