Although the conservative Supreme Court Justice never mentioned the Kentucky county clerk by name, his sentiments during a Harvard Law School forum last week are clearly against Davis’ actions.
Justice Kennedy told students that public officials who object a law based on moral standing should resign from office rather than refuse to enforce it.
“Great respect, it seems to me, has been given to people who resign rather than do something they view as morally wrong in order to make a point,” Justice Kennedy said after a student asked what a public official who disagrees with a law for moral reasons should do.
The Supreme Court Justice also noted that it is mandated for government officials to “enforce a law that they believe is morally corrupt,” even if they do face “difficult moral questions.”
He continued, “The rule of law is that as a public official in performing your legal duties you are bound to enforce the law.”
While Justice Kennedy’s words seemed loud and clear, Davis feels differently about her responsibilities as a public official.
In a September interview with FOX’s Megyn Kelly, the Kentucky clerk told Kelly, “If I resign, I lose my voice. Why should I have to quit a job I love and am good at?”
Davis also called for accommodations, which she said have been made for a number of varying issues, but have been denied to her.
Although Justice Kennedy acknowledged that the task of weighing personal convictions with job duties is “a fair question officials can and should ask themselves” and “requires considerable introspection,” he left no room for accomodations.
“It would be difficult for me to say people are free to ignore a decision of the Supreme Court,” he added.