An Oath to Uphold Only the Just Laws

History supports Kentucky clerk Kim Davis's interpretation of "so help me God."

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Photographer: Ty Wright/Getty Images

I’m reluctant to disagree with my Bloomberg View colleague Noah Feldman, but after a bit of reflection and research, I’ve concluded that he got things slightly wrong in his recent column about Kim Davis. Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who was held in contempt for defying a federal judge's order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, has argued that her religious freedom is being violated. What caught Feldman's attention was her claim that her oath of office, which ends with “so help me God,” entitles her to invoke a higher law when necessary. Feldman thinks she's mistaken. I wish she were; I fear she's not.

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