A Kentucky clerk who has refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples could be thrown in jail today according to an Associated Press report, noting both she and the judge who will determine her fate have faced accusations of nepotism.
Kim Davis became clerk in Rowan County, Ky., after her mother retired from the position. Davis then hired her son to work for her, according to the Associated Press. Davis has refused to issue marriage licenses to anyone since the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark ruling in June brought marriage equality to all 50 states.
U.S. District Judge David Bunning, who will decide today whether to fine or incarcerate Davis for disobeying his orders, also has a political family history, the wire service notes.
"Former Republican President George W. Bush nominated David Bunning for a lifetime position as a federal judge in 2001 when he was just 35 years old, halfway through his dad's first term in the Senate," according to the wire service. His father, Jim Bunning, was a Republican U.S. senator from Kentucky from 1999 to 2011, having served six terms in the U.S. House before that. Jim Bunning was previously a star pitcher with the Philadelphia Phillies and the Detroit Tigers, and he is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
However, despite David Bunning's conservative origins he has not always been a supporter of causes typically associated with conservative politics.
He was part of a three-judge panel that overturned Michigan's ban on partial-birth abortion and in 2003 ordered the Boyd County School District to allow the student Gay-Straight Alliance to meet on campus.
"I have tirelessly spent the last 10 years of my life making sure justice is served in all cases," Bunning reportedly told the Senate Judiciary Committee during his confirmation hearing.
For her services Davis, a Democrat, earns $80,000 per year, and as an elected official, she cannot be removed from her position unless she is impeached, notes the Lexington Herald-Leader.
Her contempt hearing is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. local time. Watch live coverage outside the courthouse where Bunning will decide whether to hold Davis in contempt of court below, via WHAS.