Kentucky Clerk Should Heed Scalia's Advice and Quit

Washington Post writer digs up justice's opinion on similar matter
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 2, 2015 10:00 AM CDT
Kentucky Clerk Should Heed Scalia's Advice and Quit
Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, right, talks with David Moore following her office's refusal to issue marriage licenses at the Rowan County Courthouse in Morehead, Ky.   (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

The Kentucky clerk taking a stand against gay marriage will appear before a federal judge tomorrow to defend herself. But if Kim Davis is looking for judicial counsel, she should look to the writings of Antonin Scalia, argues Jonathan Adler in the Washington Post. It will then become clear that she must quit her job. Adler cites a Scalia opinion in which he writes that if he were morally opposed to the death penalty, he'd have to resign as a judge because his vote often allows an execution to proceed. "The choice for the judge who believes the death penalty to be immoral is resignation, rather than simply ignoring duly enacted, constitutional laws and sabotaging death penalty cases," writes Scalia.

Davis should take the hint, writes Adler, who uses this analogy: Someone who opposes war on religious grounds can be a conscientious objector with the right to skip military service. "But he does not have the right to serve as a military officer, draw a paycheck from the military and then substitute his own personal views of when war is justified for that of the government." It's Davis' job to issue marriage licenses, and she is obligated to do so. If her religious beliefs prevent her from doing so, she must step down. Click for the full column. (Davis herself has been married four times.)

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