Cincinnati, OH – On Wednesday Liberty Counsel filed a brief in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing that the district court had no authority to expand its original injunction against Kim Davis after she filed an appeal of that injunction. The original injunction was limited to the named Plaintiffs in this case, but the new district court order dated September 3, 2015, broadened this case to cover anyone in the world who seeks a license for same-sex marriage.
Last Friday, September 11, Liberty Counsel requested from the court of appeals an expedited ruling on the expanded Injunction. Within a few hours of the filing, the court of appeals ordered the plaintiffs to file a response by the close of business on September 15, and Liberty Counsel filed its reply brief yesterday.
“While the original Injunction against Kim Davis was on appeal, and without any notice or briefing, at the contempt hearing the lower court expanded the Injunction beyond the named plaintiffs to include the entire world,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel.
“The Plaintiffs did not originally request a class-wide injunction and the district court did not originally grant a class-wide injunction. The Plaintiffs even agreed to stay any class-based proceedings while Davis’s appeal was decided,” Staver pointed out.
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“However, on September 3, 2015, the district court granted class-wide relief without any notice and significantly expanded the scope of its original injunction against Kim Davis. The practical effect of this move means that the Injunction applies to anyone in the world might seek a license at any time in the future. We believe the case is moot and the expanded Injunction violated due process,” concluded Staver.
It is a basic principle of federal court authority that district courts cannot expand or enlarge injunction orders that are on appeal. Orders entered without authority are null and void.
On one aspect of several appeals, this past Tuesday, in Kim Davis’ appeal against Kentucky Governor Beshear requesting an accommodation, the Sixth Circuit did not grant the injunction pending appeal but at the same time also denied a motion filed by the Governor in which he sought to be dismissed.
On a final note, today is Constitution Day and is also Kim Davis’ birthday! Her case presented a question last night during both of the Republican Presidential debates. When asked, Gov. Mike Huckabee, Gov. Jeb Bush, Gov. Bobby Jindal, and Sen. Rick Santorum all agreed Kim Davis should be provided an accommodation for her deeply-held religious convictions.
About Liberty Counsel
Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.
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