On 3 April 2009 the Iowa Supreme Court overstepped its boundries & ruled from the bench, 9-0 in Varnum v. Brien,
that the Iowa Constitution did something it was never intended to do by its authors, allow gay marriage. Of course, the liberal left was overjoyed at this bit of judicial activism. It was a blatent attempt to not only change the law, but amend the Iowa Constitution
without following the proper proceedures. In doing so they also denied the people the right to decide for themselves if the definition of marriage should be changed.
Fortunately, the Iowa Constitution provides the citizens with a way to redress this situation. In 1962 the Iowa Constitution was amended to replaced the then current way electing judges, they ran on a party ticket. The new system was meant to be nonpartisan while letting citizens decide if these judges are doing the job as they are supposed to & getting rid of them if they don't. At that time Section 3, 5 & 9 of Article V were replaced with Sections 15-18
. So in addition to facing impeachment (Article III, Section 19 & 20
), every 8 years the citizens are asked to vote whether to retain the current Iowa Supreme Court Justices or remove them from office. In short, the justices remained answerable to the people they were serving.
In 2010 three of the seven justices, Chief Justice Marsha Ternus, Justice David Baker, & Justice Michael Streit, were up for retention. & for the 1st time since the 1962 amendment a judge was ousted. In fact all three of them were. Of course those supporting their judicial activism tried to paint this as politicizing the judiciary so as to convince people they didn't have to right to stop activist judges. But as you see they failed, the judges were ousted, by an average 55-45% margin. Iowans made it clear that they didn't want the Supreme Court to, usurp the constitution, legislate from the bench, as well as malfeasance in the way they made the decision.
This year the 4th of the seven judges, Justice David Wiggins, is up for retention. (The other three will be up in 2016.) Of course, the left & a huge number of those in the Iowa Bar Association who want to keep the status quo are fighting once again to protect Wiggins. In fact the Iowa State Bar has launched a“Yes Iowa Judges” campaign. Ostensibly, they are saying they are simply education people about the process & why the claims of those trying to oust Wiggins were wrong. Unfortunately, they are using misdirection & even outright lies to defend their stand.
Believe me, their side is the one that is taking the political stand. & that includes the Iowa Bar Association. It should be noted that the American Bar Association supports gay marriage
. So naturally, the Iowa Association will follow suit & oppose anything that would go after judicially activist judges who usurp their role. In fact, it is no surprize to see the Iowa Bar Association lauding the judges while attacking Bob VanderPlaats & the rest of us who are using the process as intended. (Legislation - Guest Column Obsessed with gay marriage
by Dan Moore, past president of the Iowa State Bar Association)
To do so, they have been going around to the sites announced by Iowans for Freedom - No Wiggins
campaign & starting their rallies before the No Wiggins one. One of those sites was here in DBQ. The No Wiggins rally was scheduled for 2 PM. So they began in a nearby location before that. & made sure they ran past 2 PM as well. I would have loved to debate them because, as I said, they were not presenting the facts accurately. (You can read refutations of their talking points here
Sadly, there was a very small turnout for the No Wiggins rally. But the speeches were excellent. Among the facts brought up were a Hawaiian court ruling that cited the Varnum ruling as the wrong way to make a decision. In addition, Justice Wiggins has been given a 63% rating by his peers. By today's standards that is a D-, but in my day it was an F. Clearly, Wiggins is not doing his job as he should if even his peers feel that way about him.
Also, the majority in DBQ Co voted for pro-gay marriage incumbent governor, Chet Culver (D), who lost, while voting with the majority of getting rid of those judges. Clearly that vote wasn't on partisan lines.
Those who want the status quo saw that it wasn't to be 2 years ago. & they are afraid the same thing will happen this year. & it seems they are a bit better organized. But in the end, I have great faith in the citizens to discern the truth. I salute Iowans for Freedom for their efforts & pray they will be successful in once again getting Iowans to hold their Supreme Court Justices accountable as they should be. I am hopeful that the result of Iowans for Freedoms efforts will be that Justice Wiggins will no longer be on the court just like the three others that were removed 2 years ago.
You can see what the Iowa Judicial Branch says about retention elections here
. They may not admit it, but it makes the case for removing Wiggins.
Labels: Iowa Gay Marriage Abomination