Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. She’s an elected official, and can’t be fired except by voters in her county, so a federal judge had her thrown in jail today. I expected as much. Any true civil-disobedience act must come with the willingness to bear the legal consequences of your extra-legal behavior. Davis politely thanked the judge before being carted off to the clink.
If it were me, I also would have submitted to the governing authority, but not without a resounding “SAY WHAT, YOUR HONOR?!” after he said this…
“The idea of natural law superceding [sic] this court’s authority would be a dangerous precedent indeed,” U.S. District Judge David L. Bunning told Rowan County clerk Kim Davis.
Actually, your honor, the sovereignty of natural law over man-made authority is a founding principle — a starting point of the underlying political theory — of our constitutional republic. These United States separated from the British monarchy because we were entitled to by “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God,” and not subservient to the alleged divine right of kings, nor to an imperious Parliament.
We ordained and established a Constitution of enumerated powers, not of general legislative authority, and “We, the People” gave Congress authority to legislate only within the powers granted in the Constitution. The rest belongs to the states, to the people and, obviously, to the great lawmaker and judge of us all.
Not only does natural law supersede the court’s authority, the judge’s authority is utterly dependent upon the existence of such a law, and — whether one wishes to acknowledge it or not — upon the authority of God.
This is not to say that each individual person may decide what natural law (or God’s law) shall be for the entire republic. But it certainly does not mean that a federal judge’s authority supersedes the law of God, or “natural law.”