For those who are disappointed that federal judge David Bunning has coughed up Kim Davis like a rancid scallop, fret not. The point has been made: no governmental official, no matter how corpulent, is bigger than a United States Supreme Court ruling. Bunning’s only goal here was to have his order executed: to have the Rowan County Clerk’s office issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. That is now happening, and unless Davis somehow reverses her deputies’ capitulation, that will continue to happen. If it stops happening, an already pissed off judge will blow a gasket.
It will be interesting to see whether marriage licenses without Davis’ signature on them are valid under Kentucky law. If not, that too could lead to Davis being quickly reunited with her pen.
Davis will enjoy her 15 minutes of fame, and then, like all political circus acts, she will fade from irrelevance into ignominy. Truth be told, the longer her incarceration lasted, the farther off that slide would have been.
This judge, despite being a George W. Bush appointee, has done a passable job. No fan of gay marriage, I’m sure, he nonetheless guarded the integrity of federal courts and sent a screeching ideologue to the slammer.
But Davis was a thick antler constipating the bowels of justice. Judge Bunning knew that, and he passed her through with a dose of discretion. If she misbehaves, there is no doubt she’ll be swallowed up again.