LOUISVILLE, Ky., Sept. 8 (UPI) — The legal battle over the Kentucky county clerk who has refused to issue marriage licenses took a step deeper into the political arena Tuesday as GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee vowed to support the embattled clerk.
Huckabee will visit Kim Davis in jail on Tuesday and later lead an “#ImWithKim Liberty Rally” outside the Carter County Detention Center, which is expected to draw a large crowd. Five schools in the area were closed for the day in expectation of the crowds.
Huckabee contends the issue is not just about religious liberty but also whether the branches of government should be allowed to overextend their constitutional reach.
“The purpose of it is to show support for Kim and also to let the world know that it is unacceptable to put a person in jail without bail because she followed her conscience. And not only that, but she followed the only law that is in front of her,”the former Arkansas governor said in an interview Monday on Fox & Friends.
While Huckabee isn’t the first presidential candidate to weigh in on the Davis situation, he is the first to visit her in jail, where she is being held in contempt of court. Republican hopeful Donald Trump said Davis should follow the “law of the land,” and Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton said, “Officials should be held to their duty to uphold the law — end of story.”
Monday, Davis’ legal team asked the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to release her from jail and “provide reasonable, sensible accommodation so she can do her job.” She has been in jail since Thursday after repeatedly refusing a judge’s order to begin issuing marriage licenses to all couples, gay or straight.
Davis’ lawyer Mat Staver suggested Gov. Steve Beshear issue an executive order to solve the issue, but he has refused, saying the case was a “matter between her and the courts.”