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08/30/2010

Focus tells Iowans to throw the book at 'em; we'd prefer they actually read said book

by Jeremy Hooper

IowaChristian conservatives are building steam for a campaign to remove some Iowa state Supreme Court justices simply because they don't like one particular recent decision:

An Iowa grassroots movement is gaining steam to remove three of its Supreme Court justices as a “reward” for inventing a constitutional right to same-sex marriage
...

Iowa uses a system that follows many other states for selecting its judges: the governor appoints them to an initial term of years, and then they must face the voters in what’s called a “retention” election. A retention election is strictly an up or down vote of “stay” or “go” – there is no one running against them. It makes a nice check and balance against the governor’s bad judgment and/or the judge’s awful performance.

Liberals who rely on courts to achieve what democratic majorities would never stand for, however, see such campaigns to oust judges as a threat to their “judicial independence” – a polite euphemism that many times means “you can’t stop us.” They are worried about the “chilling effect” it will have on judges nationwide.
...
When the judiciary is the most dangerous branch of government, something is out of kilter.

Judging the Iowa Supreme Court [Focus on the Family]

Now, keep in mind that few of these outraged folks have been able to make a case that goes beyond their personal, typically faith-rooted resistance to gay people in general. And that the Iowa marriage equality decision was a unanimous opinion, written by a Republican appointee on a court whose chief justice was also appointed by that same Republican governor (Terry Branstad, who is incidentally running for governor again in the current election). Plus there's the fact that in the sixteen months since the opinion came down and marriage equality came to the state, none of the parade of horribles that the anti-LGBT crowd constantly promises have come anywhere close to materializing.

But while you may keep all of those things in mind, don't expect groups like Focus on the Family to do so. Because what they care abut is their own selfish agenda, one that thwarts decent gay citizens, fair-minded members of the independent judiciary, and just about anyone who thwarts their supposed "right" to retain a heterosexist world where majority whims and personal biases seize the premium that should instead be placed on equality.

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