These are dark times for even moderates on the political spectrum in Arkansas, but the hubbub over the Kentucky clerk
who refuses to perform her job of issuing marriage licenses
does give all reason to appreciate Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson
and Republican Attorney General Leslie Rutledge
on one point.
Both are adamant in their objection to same-sex marriage (and, for that matter, both object to legal protections against discrimination against gay people in general). But they both have said county clerks in Arkansas are compelled by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
They are, of course, lawyers — unlike the demagogue Florida preacher, Mike Huckabee, who seems desperately wishing for Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis
to be jailed and martyred for the proposition that their brand of religion trumps the U.S. Constitution.
But there are some lawyers in the Republican field for the presidential nomination and, as this roundup shows,
you find only about two who clearly express support the rule of law — Lindsey Graham
and Carly Fiorina.
The others dance, oppose or haven't commented.
Mike Huckabee says the Arkansas Constitution hasn't changed. But it has. The ban on marriage has been invalidated by both state and federal courts, just as federal courts invalidated our constitutional amendment that required segregation. No law was passed requiring integrated schools. It happened under court order (and federal troops in Little Rock). Mike Huckabee would have you believe there was no justification for school desegregation.
Federal Judge Jim Bunning in Kentucky will deal with Clerk Davis and her staff this morning.