U.S. District Judge David Bunning issued an order Tuesday afternoon releasing Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis from jail in Kentucky. She had been held in contempt for defying Bunning’s order requiring her to do her job of issuing marriage certificates.
During proceedings on Thursday, Davis was offered to avoid jail if she allowed her deputies to issue the marriage licenses. She refused, and on Friday they began issuing them. The release order requires that Davis “shall not interfere in any way, directly or indirectly, with the efforts of her deputy clerks to issue marriage licenses to all legally eligible couples.” If she refuses — as she seemed to promise to do last week — she would again be held in contempt.
The lawyers for the deputies issuing licenses were also ordered to file a “Status Report” every 14 days to confirm their compliance with the order. They are forbidden from following Davis’ “no marriage licenses” policy should she try to enforce it again.
Davis is being released just as a rally in her support, featuring Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz and numerous anti-LGBT organizations, is set to commence outside the correctional facility where she’s been held since Thursday. The Republican presidential candidates had planned to visit her in jail, but she was released before they had the chance.
Davis’ release from jail might not last very long. Her lawyers have indicated that she will, in fact, halt the issuing of marriage licenses in direct violation of the order.