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The Iowa Judicial Retention Vote: An “In-State” Interest in Marriage
Posted By Chuck Donovan On November 9, 2010 @ 4:00 pm In Culture | Comments Disabled
In a statement  that is as unseemly as the example of judicial activism that gave rise to their removal from office, three former Iowa Supreme Court justices are blaming “out-of-state interests” for their loss on Election Day.
The evidence seems clear that the three judges who were not retained by Iowa voters  lost their offices because of the unsupportable ruling  they joined in April 2009 that invented a state constitutional right to same-sex marriage. Of the 74 Iowa judges statewide who were subject to retention votes last week, only Marsha Ternus, David Baker, and Michael Streit were removed—a fair indication that Iowa voters do not deplore an independent judiciary  but only rogue judges who put on political garb and trample upon the constitutional role of the representative branches.
Moreover, Iowa voters did not engage in this exercise as an empty gesture. Last Tuesday, they also elected a legislature and governor who are reportedly more amenable to moving a state constitutional amendment  that will restore the definition of marriage that Iowans had always maintained until the judicial ukase of 2009. That amendment must be approved by two consecutive legislatures and then placed on the ballot for voter approval. This is a long-term process that is designed to protect the state constitution from impulsive and ill-advised amendments.
The retention vote, in turn, allows Iowans to weigh in more or less promptly when it is the justices themselves who, through their rulings, engage in impulsive and ill-advised amendment  of the state constitution’s meaning. Protecting marriage in Iowa proved to be very much an “in-state interest,” and that is what likely has the former justices’ robes in, well, a twist.
Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org
URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2010/11/09/the-iowa-judicial-retention-vote-an-%e2%80%9cin-state%e2%80%9d-interest-in-marriage/
URLs in this post:
 statement: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/04/us/politics/04judges.html?src=mv
 Iowa voters: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/03/AR2010110307058.html
 unsupportable ruling: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/179865/iowa-supreme-courts-attack-marriage/ed-whelan
 independent judiciary: http://www.nationalreview.com/bench-memos/252350/iowa-voters-eject-justices-ed-whelan
 state constitutional amendment: http://www.omaha.com/article/20101104/NEWS01/711049935/0
 impulsive and ill-advised amendment: http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2006/03/From-Constitutional-Interpretation-to-Judicial-Activism
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