- The Washington Times - Friday, September 11, 2015

The Oath Keepers organization has vowed to make sure that Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who was jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses after the Supreme Court’s June ruling on same-sex marriages, never ends up behind bars again. 

In a phone call with Jackson County Kentucky Sheriff Denny Peyman, Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes said members of his group had reached out to Ms. Davis’ legal team and were forming an on-the-ground presence in Rowan County, Right Wing Watch reported. He did not specify how many members were on-the-ground or how heavily armed they were. 

Mr. Rhodes said the group’s actions were not based Ms. Davis’ opposition to same-sex marriage, but instead were focused on their belief that Ms. Davis had been jailed illegally after being found in contempt of court for refusing to issue the marriage licenses. 

“As far as we’re concerned, this is not over,” Mr. Rhodes said, Right Wing Watch reported. “This judge needs to be put on notice that his behavior is not going to be accepted, and we’ll be there to stop it and intercede ourselves if we have to.” 

He argued that Ms. Davis’ has been met with the same plight as the Founding Fathers, in that she is dealing with “the magistrates and the officers of the crown who wanted to run roughshod over the rights of the colonists without a jury indictment, without any of that.” 

In a statement on the Oath Keepers website, Mr. Rhodes said the U.S. has fallen under an “unconstitutional imperial presidency” and said the group has had “boots on the ground” in Rowan County since last week and will continue to have a presence there. 

“[Federal District Court Judge David Bunning] has assumed unto himself not just the powers of all three branches of government, but has also taken on the powers of judge, jury, and ‘executioner,’ ” Mr. Rhodes said in the statement. 

The Oath Keepers group — whose members are mostly former military, police and first responders — was founded in 2004 by Mr. Rhodes, a former U.S. Army paratrooper and Yale Law School graduate. The group now claims over 30,000 members. 

The Southern Poverty Law Center describes the Oath Keepers as a “fiercely anti-government, militaristic group.” 

Last month, heavily armed members of the group showed up in Ferguson, Missouri/ They claimed they were protecting journalists covering protesting on the one-year anniversary of the killing of Michael Brown. 

• Kellan Howell can be reached at khowell@washingtontimes.com.

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