Kim Davis, a clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky, is now famous for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples -- or any couples at all, for that matter -- following June's Supreme Court marriage equality ruling.
Davis has said her religious beliefs prevent her from signing her name on the dotted line. But on Monday night, the Supreme Court issued a ruling saying Davis had no legal standing to keep refusing to do her job and that she needed to comply with the law as soon as the doors to the clerk's office opened on Tuesday morning (Sept. 1).
But Davis showed up to work today and once again refused to issue any marriage licenses at all (to avoid appearing like she is discriminating against only same-sex couples) once again, telling the crowd that she was acting "on God's authority."
In response, the ACLU has filed a motion to hold Davis in contempt of court. MTV News caught up with Ria Tabacco Mar, one of the ACLU attorneys involved in filing that motion, to figure out what's going to happen if Davis continues to "go rogue" now that SCOTUS has weighed in.
"Two of our clients, April [Miller] and Karen [Ann Roberts], went to the Rowan County Clerk's office this morning to obtain a marriage license, and were again turned away," Mar explained. "So we've filed a motion to hold Kim Davis in contempt of court, asking the judge to impose fines in an amount high enough to ensure that Davis will follow the law and do her job."
The ACLU represents Miller and Roberts, plus three other couples -- both gay and straight -- in a lawsuit against Davis filed last month after she refused to issue them marriage licenses. Davis responded by asking local courts to support her refusal, and when they denied her requests, by going all the way to the Supreme Court asking for support -- a request that's now also been denied.
"We are not asking that Kim Davis go to jail," Mar explained. "We just want her to follow the law and do her job."
Mar said that the contempt hearing, in which the judge will make decisions about whether to impose fines that would compel Davis to do her job, is scheduled for Thursday morning.
When asked what those fines might look like, Mar responded, "The amount of the fines will be up to the judge, but the purpose of fines is that they be high enough to force her to comply with the court's order." Meaning that if the compliance hearing does what it's supposed to do, the fines will be much too high for Davis to pay, and she'll instead opt to follow the law and do her job.
"We hope and expect that Davis will choose to comply with the court's ruling in the interim between now and Thursday," Mar explained. "Since her application for a stay was denied by the Supreme Court, there is absolutely no basis for further delay, so we hope she'll comply."
In the past, Davis has explained that she feels her signature on a same-sex marriage licenses makes her an active participant in bringing those unions into existence, which she believes is "sinful."
She's suggested that as an alternative same-sex couples could just go to another county, or get a signature from a different clerk, or that the state could simply change the law requiring her name to be on the marriage licenses she issues. The lower court has rejected all three of these proposals, and at this point -- now that SCOTUS has weighed in-- Davis is pretty much out of options. Her office did not respond to a request for comment by press time.
We couldn't help but wonder -- why hasn't Davis just been fired? If we went to our jobs but then refused to do a critical part of our work, that's what we'd expect to happen to us.
"In Kentucky, county clerks are elected officials," Mar explained, "which means they cannot be fired. They would have to be impeached by the state legislature." Davis is, however, facing an official charge of "misconduct" by the Rowan County Attorney's office over her refusal to do her job, which could potentially, eventually, lead to her being removed from her office by the state government.
When asked whether impeachment is something the ACLU has looked into, Mar made it clear that they don't actually want Davis to lose her job -- they just want her to follow the law.
"That's certainly not something that we're asking for," she explained. "Our preference here is that Kim Davis chooses to comply with the court order and continues to do her job. We're not asking for her to be revoked. We do hope, and expect, that Davis will comply."
And if she doesn't? There's always one final option available to Davis: She could resign from her post and seek other employment that she feels is more in sync with her religious beliefs.