Commonwealth Policy Center

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal by former Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis who was jailed for refusing to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple back in 2015. Davis argued that the First Amendment extends to elected officials and should have protected her conscience rights. Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Sam Alito agreed with Davis and said the court chose to endorse, a novel right over religious freedom protected in the First Amendment. They said the notorious Obergefell ruling “will continue to have ruinous consequences for religious liberty.” The justices were harsh in their criticism and warned that those with “religious beliefs concerning marriage will find it increasingly difficult to participate in society without running afoul of the decision and its effect on other anti-discrimination laws.”