After a legal showdown Thursday that resulted in her incarceration for civil contempt, Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who has made headlines for her refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, is expected to remain in custody for at least a week as her lawyers plan an appeal.
Addressing members of the media Friday outside the detention facility in Grayson, Kentucky, where Davis is in custody, the chairman of her legal team said she remained “in good spirits” after her first night behind bars.
“Kim Davis slept well last night,” said Liberty Council’s Mat Staver, according to The Washington Post. “She slept with a very good conscience.”
For a civil contempt order to be dissolved, a litigant must simply comply with it, at which point the court could order the litigant’s release. Davis could also resign and end the matter.
But Staver said at the press conference that Davis “has no intention to resign,” and that “she will continue to serve the people of Rowan County as she has done for so many years.” In a recent court filing, Davis’ lawyers contended that it was “factually impossible” for her to comply with an order to issue licenses to same-sex couples.
Deputy clerks in Rowan County began issuing marriage licenses early Friday.
Buzzfeed News reported that at least one of the same-sex couples who received a license on Friday wondered about its validity because Davis’ name didn’t appear on it. According to WLKY, though, both an attorney for Rowan County and lawyers for the same-sex couples who obtained licenses Friday said the documents were valid.
To Davis’ legal team, however, the licenses are “not worth the paper they’re written on,” according to The Courier-Journal, a Kentucky newspaper.
It’s not immediately clear whether Davis’ lawyers will succeed in their challenge to Davis’ incarceration. On Thursday, U.S. District Judge David Bunning declined to certify the contempt order for appeal, and legal precedent or other limits may stand in the lawyers’ way.
According to ABC News, Davis is expected to remain in jail for at least a week as the judge monitors the compliance of Rowan County deputy clerks who have agreed to fill in for her.
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