Iowa GOP Targets Another State Supreme Court Justice
DES MOINES, IA -- The chairman of the Iowa state Republican Party is pushing for the removal of another Iowa Supreme Court Justice, who voted for a ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in the state.
In an e-mail to supporter sent out Wednesday morning, Chairman A.J. Spiker called for the removal of Justice David Wiggins by the states's voters as a way to “help end the bullying of activist judges once and for all.”
A question posed for voters who participate in the upcoming November 6 general election will ask whether or not Justice Wiggins should be allowed to retain his seat on the high court. Wiggins is the fourth justice to come up for a retention vote since the court’s unanimous ruling in spring 2009. The first three justices, Marsha Ternus, David Baker and Michael Streit, were ousted by Iowa voters in the fall of 2010 after an intense lobbying campaign led by anti-gay religious conservative activist Bob Vander Plaats, and the National Organisation for Marriage.
The three former justices were presented the prestigious John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in May, 2012 by the late president's daughter Caroline Kennedy at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library. Former Iowa Chief Justice Marsha Ternus and former justices David Baker and Michael Streit whom were chosen "in recognition of the political courage and judicial independence each demonstrated in setting aside popular opinion to uphold the basic freedoms and security guaranteed to all citizens under the Iowa constitution."
A Des Moines Register Iowa Poll in February found that a majority of Iowans oppose such a ban and according to the paper several factors have taken some of the shine off the issue, including the passage of time, according to Iowa political insiders.
Gay marriage instantly became a political hot button in Iowa after the ruling three years ago, but there has been little urgency behind the issue this year.Iowans have been targeted with an avalanche of political advertising this summer, but marriage isn't one of the messages they’re being bombarded with via TV commercials.
The conditions of this election cycle are much different than in the mid-term years ago, when outside groups and national GOP presidential candidates angling for an edge in Iowa poured money into the marriage fight here.
Conservatives have unsuccessfully pushed for the Iowa Legislature to allow the public to vote on a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.Vander Plaats is still a player in this battle, and it will likely help motivate voters concerned about traditional marriage, but other issues will be the turnout drivers on Nov. 6, according to both Democratic and Republican strategists here. ~ The Des Moines Register
Chairman Spiker's message statement in full:
“The Republican Party of Iowa believes we must be a state based on laws and not the whims of unelected activist judges attempting to impose their personal views on the public. The people of Iowa are tired of increasingly powerful bureaucrats arrogantly and deceitfully instituting law when they have no justification or ability to do so.
“In 2010 Iowa voters chose to dismiss three activist judges who allowed their own politics to influence their obligation to uphold the Iowa Constitution. These three were among a handful of judges who chose to disregard years of legal precedent on the status of marriage and how it was to be defined.
“Instead of allowing the people of Iowa to decide this issue at the polls, these judges instead chose to impose their will upon the state and re-write history without weighing the merits of our laws and values. Regardless of political pressure or the state of cultural affairs at the moment, it is the people of Iowa through our elections that must be permitted to decide this important issue.
“Just as Iowans successfully showed in 2010, it is again time to put a check on this power and reign in an activist judge from his position of misused authority.
“This is the only chance voters have to make their voice heard and we must take the opportunity to remove Justice David Wiggins from his post and show him his arrogance and disregard for the law does indeed have consequences.
“On behalf of the Republican Party of Iowa, I urge all Iowans to go to the polls this November and vote ‘no’ on the retention of Justice Wiggins.
“Let us make sure voters across all 99 counties send a strong message to the judicial branch and activist judges who may not fully understand the power that individual voters have within Iowa and our entire nation. Vote ‘no’ on retaining Justice David Wiggins and help end the bullying of activist judges once and for all.”