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Iowa GOP party chairman seeks to oust Justice over gay marriage vote

Thursday, August 2, 2012

DES MOINES, Iowa — The chairman of the Iowa state Republican Party is pushing for the removal of another Iowa Supreme Court Justice who voted as part of a unanimous 2009 ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in the state.

In an e-mail to supporters on Wednesday, A.J. Spiker called for voters to remove Justice David Wiggins from the Court as a way to “help end the bullying of activist judges once and for all.”

A ballot question in the upcoming the Nov. 6 general election will ask voters whether or not Wiggins should be allowed to retain his seat on the high court.

Iowa GOP party chairman, A.J. Spiker

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 conservative activist Bob Vander Plaats, and the National Organization for Marriage.

“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,” Spiker said, in a statement.

“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.

“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.”

Marriage equality has been a political hot button in Iowa since the unanimous 2009 ruling that led to legalization of same-sex marriage, but there has been little urgency behind the issue this year.

Conservatives have unsuccessfully pushed for the Iowa Legislature to allow the public to vote on a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

The three former justices were presented the prestigious John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in May by the late president’s daughter Caroline Kennedy at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library. They 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.”

Iowa justices are appointed by the governor and serve an initial term of office that is one year after appointment and until January 1 following the next judicial retention election after expiration of such year. The regular term of office of justices retained at election is eight years.

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14 more reader comments:

  1. Republicans Just humanity short of being human beings…

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 8:20pm
  2. i think all the ones against it should be tossed out

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 8:20pm
  3. Hate bigotry and intolerance, what do you expect from Re-thug-licans

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 8:21pm
  4. The Republicans continue to be on the wrong side of civil rights. It simply to them about money, no compassion what so ever.

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 8:25pm
  5. Omg!! Get a life!!

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 8:29pm
  6. The recent mass “dine-ins” at Chick-fil-A demonstrate something that LGBT people underestimate…the depth of hatred towards them in this country. WE are the next scapegoats for the lower and middle classes, with that hatred being focused by propaganda paid for by the oligarchs who use class unrest to divert attention from their own greed and malfeasance. IF T-party folks get elected, IF Romney should be elected, LGBT people better be prepared for a significant roll-back of the rights thus far gained. With one or two SCOTUS appointments, the so-called conservatives will OWN the government and the oligarchs are perfectly willing to go along with mass attacks on the scapegoat population. Watch carefully, folks. The mid 1920′s to the election of Hitler in Germany constitute a hideous parallel to what’s going down in this country. The war on women, the war on LGBT, the war on the poor, the deliberate degradation of health care will serve to “limit” these lesser classes. And the religious right, just like the established church in Germany, will go right along with the destruction of democracy. We must remember…Hitler was NOT an atheist, and used the approval of the church to further his dreams of a long-lasting Reich.

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 8:31pm
  7. The GOP in Iowa are just following in the same path…a backlash against LGBT folks, based in part on false information, prejudicial and highly selective interpretation of the bible, and a desire to scapegoat a population so that the voters won’t notice the economic disaster that they will bring to ordinary folks. Alas, ordinary Iowans are likely to be suckered into this by ministers and priests who have their own hypocritical agendas.

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 8:34pm
  8. the only way to prove that the judges had their own agenda is if they went and got a gay marriage right after. that statement dose not make any sense to me. now they immediatly over turn that rule it is proof that those judges had an agenda and use their own beliefs to further their “cause”

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 8:37pm
  9. hey, you f!@#$ jerk ass wipe, civil rights are not voted on. How about I revoke your right to make yourself into an idiot. Then we’ll vote on how we will persecute you and your family. !

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 8:42pm
  10. i say this man should be fired out of a cannon in to the sun hes a fool and will be left behind when we win our right to marry who we want

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 8:45pm
  11. i’m disgusted with the Republicans of this state and every state who continue to trample on our rights! how about we trample on your rights and see how you like it!!! oh wait, that’d make us no better than you!

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 8:55pm
  12. What A Idiot…The Damn GOP Needs To Be Hung, Drawn, & Quartered…!!!.

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 9:06pm
  13. Ok…Let’s Just Line Every GOP’in’ Hypocritical Asshole Up In A Line…And Have A Massive Necktie Party…!!!.

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 9:10pm
  14. so if you go t ocourt and lose you should the nTRY to oust the jidge instead of ahereing t othe law? TP/GOP logic

    Posted on Friday, August 3, 2012 at 8:33am