“Under God’s authority”: The case of clerk Kim Davis

meme secular state

Not for winning or being appointed in clerk position, this will belong to her and, from that post, she can decide who deserves a service and who does not. The exercise of public service is not about choices (It’s Not About what you believe) because is a duty, and she can´t have that discriminatory behavior against any person in relation with the goods and services that the state provides to its citizens.

Public service is mandatory for all civil servant. Public administration and the civil service is characterized by the objectivity and impartiality that is embodied in the fact prevent personal or individual elements affect the civil servant criteria when making decisions.

Public and civil servants must be objective in the line of duty. It’s like saying “think with reason and not so much with the heart”. It’s like going to a restaurant and the customer orders to the waiter “I would like to order biscuits ’n’ gravy” and the waiter answers to the consumer “sorry I don’t like biscuits ’n’ gravy, so you don’t deserve it, too”.

Finally, rule of law is a principle in public administration and because of that she can´t deny the marriage service even more if the SCOTUS ruled the same sex marriage as a right nationwide. The public servants develops their duties inside a secular state.


See: The Kentucky clerk who won’t issue marriage licences, and all her deputy clerks have been called to appear at a federal court hearing

Kentucky clerk takes same-sex marriage license battle to US supreme court

Rowan County clerk Kim Davis asks the highest court for permission to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples on grounds of religious freedom

Rowan County Kentucky clerk Kim Davis shows emotion as she is cheered by a gathering of supporters during a rally on the steps of the Kentucky state capitol on Saturday. Photograph: Timothy D. Easley/AP

Rowan County Kentucky clerk Kim Davis shows emotion as she is cheered by a gathering of supporters during a rally on the steps of the Kentucky state capitol on Saturday. Photograph: Timothy D. Easley/AP

Two months after it legalized gay marriage nationwide, the US supreme court is being asked by a Kentucky county clerk for permission to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Rowan County clerk Kim Davis objects to same-sex marriage for religious reasons. The supreme court says the constitution guarantees gay people have the right to marry, but Davis contends the first amendment guarantees her the right of religious freedom.

She stopped issuing all marriage licenses the day after the supreme court effectively legalized gay marriage nationwide in June.

Two gay couples and two straight couples sued Davis, arguing she must fulfill her duties as an elected official. A federal judge ordered Davis to issue the licenses and an appeals court upheld that decision. Davis’s lawyers said they petitioned the supreme court on Friday to delay that decision until her appeal is finished, a process that could take months.

Her attorneys with the Christian law firm Liberty Counsel wrote in their appeal to the court that Davis is seeking “asylum for her conscience”.

Justice Elena Kagan, who joined the majority opinion that effectively legalized gay marriage across the US, will hear Davis’s case.

University of Louisville law professor Sam Marcosson said he believes Kagan will deny Davis’s request based on the court’s earlier decision.

Davis has refused to comply with several court orders in recent weeks, turning away gay couples over and over. She says they could easily drive to a nearby county to get a marriage license. But gay couples argue they have a right to get a marriage license in the county where they live, work and pay taxes.

Davis has said she will not resign her $80,000-a-year job and will never issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples – even if the supreme court denies her request.

“If a (same-sex marriage) license is issued with Davis’s name, authorization and approval, no one can unring that bell,” she wrote the court. “That searing act of validation would forever echo in her conscience.”

Her attorney, Jonathan D Christman, wrote that forcing her to issue licenses is akin to forcing a person who objects to war into the battlefield, or forcing a person against capital punishment to carry out an execution.

Davis cannot be fired because she is an elected official. The legislature could impeach her, but that is unlikely given that many state lawmakers share her beliefs. The Republican president of the state senate spoke at a rally last week in support of Davis.

The gay couples that sued her could ask US district judge David Bunning to hold Davis in contempt. That would trigger another court hearing and would likely include testimony from Davis herself. The judge could then order hefty fines or even put her in jail until she complies with the order.

En: theguardian

Employment in the public service: General information (Germany)

Article 33 of the Basic Law

(1) Every German shall have in every Land the same civic rights and duties.
(2) Every German shall be equally eligible for any public offi ce according to his aptitude, qualifications, and professional achievements.
(3) Neither the enjoyment of civil and political rights, nor eligibility for public office, nor rights acquired in the public service shall be dependent upon religious affi liation. No one may be disadvantaged by reason of adherence or non-adherence to a particular religious denomination or philosophical creed.
(4) The exercise of sovereign authority on a regular basis shall, as a rule, be entrusted to members of the public service who stand in a relationship of service and loyalty defi ned by public law.
(5) The law governing the public service shall be regulated and developed with due regard to the traditional principles of the professional public service.

1. Employment in the public service

1.1 Two status groups of the public service

The constitution stipulates that the exercise of sovereign authority should, as a rule, be entrusted to members of the public service who stand in a relationship of service and loyalty defined by public law (Art. 33(4) of the Basic Law), that is, civil servants. In addition, public service tasks are performed by public employees without civil servant status.

Judges and military personnel stand in a special relationship to the federal level.

The Basic Law does not define what “sovereign authority” means. Therefore, Article 33(4) of the Basic Law is not considered as rigidly restricting the exercise of sovereign authority to civil servants. The professional civil service is intended to guarantee sound administration based on expertise, professional ability and loyal fulfilment of duties, and ensure that essential tasks are carried out continuously. Civil servants are mainly employed in core areas of administration, in particular in supervisory positions and in areas involving the exercise of sovereign authority (police, fire brigades, prison service, financial administration), but also in many areas of benefits administration. In contrast, public employees are employed in health and social services and in technical professions.

Given the relation between rule and exception defined in Article 33(4) of the Basic Law, the distinction between civil servants and public employees in terms of functions is fluid in practice. Each authority has a certain scope for action and may decide whether to employ civil servants or public employees.

The legal status of civil servants is governed by legal acts (laws and ordinances). The German Bundestag has the right to determine the rights and duties of civil servants as well as their salaries and pensions by law.

The employment of judges and military personnel, like that of civil servants, is also governed by public law. Public employees are employed on the basis of a contract under private law. General labour law applies to them as to all employees in Germany. However, specific working conditions are set out in collective agreements negotiated between the public employers at federal, Land or local level and the responsible unions (p. 59).

Public employees and civil servants have equal status. However, in addition to the restriction imposed by Article 33(4) of the Basic Law, there are significant differences between the two groups. In particular, only civil servants are subject to special obligations such as serving in a relationship of loyalty. The obligations of public employees, on the other hand, are based on their function as specified in the work contract and the collective agreements. Only civil servants are prohibited from striking, as a sign of their special loyalty to the state and ensuring that the core responsibilities of the public service are performed reliably without interruption.

Members of the Federal Government, i. e. the Federal Chancellor and the federal ministers, are not civil servants; their office is governed by public law and aimed at exercising governmental functions. However, this office under public law has developed out of employment as a civil servant and is governed by law, specifically the Act on Federal Ministers.

As office-holders who directly report to the parliament, the federal ministers manage their portfolios independently and on their own responsibilityin the framework of the general policy guidelines determined by the Federal Chancellor. They are not bound by instructions in individual cases and are not subject to any disciplinary power.

Depending on the size of their portfolios, the Cabinet members are assigned one to three parliamentary state secretaries; at the Federal Chancellery and the Federal Foreign Office they hold the title “Minister of State”. They must be members of the German Bundestag. Only direct assistants to the Federal Chancellery may assume this function even if they are not members of parliament. They represent and support the federal minister in fulfilling political and technical tasks, in particular in the plenary and in the Bundestag committees, in the Federal Cabinet and in public. The office of Parliamentary State Secretary is also governed by public law.

En: Der öffentliche Dienst des Bundes

Ver también:

– Bundesbeamtengesetz (BBG)

– Verordnung über die Laufbahnen der Bundesbeamtinnen und Bundesbeamten (Bundeslaufbahnverordnung – BLV)

Grundgesetz für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland, 1949

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