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Iowa Judges Who Ruled for Gay Marriage Voted Out

4 years ago
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Three Iowa judges who were part of a unanimous ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, have been thrown out of office by voters in a retention election that's seen as a rebuke to what critics call "legislators in robes."

The outcome Tuesday was praised by opponents of gay marriage and opponents of judicial activism. But it troubled advocates of an independent judiciary, the New York Times reported Thursday. Same-sex marriage will remain legal in Iowa, but the governor will replace the ousted state Supreme Court justices, picking from a slate of candidates assembled by a lawyers' committee.

"I think it will send a message across the country that the power resides with the people," said Republican Bob Vander Plaats, who led the campaign against the justices. "It's we the people, not we the courts."

Campaigning against judges in IowaConservative groups ran similar campaigns in other states using a merit selection system -- as opposed to being voted directly onto courts -- for picking state court judges, the Times said. However, judges survived retention elections in Alaska, Colorado, Kansas, Illinois and Florida over issues ranging from abortion to tort reform.

The rejected Iowa justices -- Chief Justice Marsha K. Ternus, Michael J. Streit and David L. Baker -- each got about 45 percent of the vote. And 71 lower court judges in Iowa all kept their seats in retention voting. In a statement, the three decried the "unprecedented attack by out-of-state special interest groups."

"What is so disturbing about this is that it really might cause judges in the future to be less willing to protect minorities out of fear that they might be voted out of office," said Erwin Chemerinsky, law school dean at the University of California, Irvine.
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The Undeniable

i really feel the gay issue is not near as important as the lack of rights for christians to have their disrespectful children stoned to death! repeatedly in both old and new testaments, christians are commanded by god to stone their unruly children. where are the rights of christians?! what is this world coming to- when a christian cannot legally stone their children! and don't even get me started on the shell fish topic! the gay thing is mentioned like two or three times in the bible... stoning your children is mentioned about 10 times! i think it is more important to focus on the murder of children than those silly gay people!

November 05 2010 at 10:53 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to The Undeniable's comment

You are so ignorant it is painful to read your mindless ramblings. For your education (provided you are still capable of learning a few things), there were no Christians in the Old Testament, so God could not have told a nonexistent people to do anything, good or bad. Secondly, Christians were told everywhere in the New Testament to love, pray for and guide their children in the way of God. I challenge you to quote a single verse of scripture that says otherwise. What you wrote above was pulled from your hairy, ugly behind, not from the Bible. Before you spew nonsense in the future, make sure your facts are checked against reality.

November 09 2010 at 5:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Manchurianpolice, Christians follow the Old Testament, do they not? It is the OT that has the prohibitions on homosexuality, although the same prohibition is given (in Leviticus, should you want to look it up) to wearing clothing of more than one type of fiber and to eating shellfish. You claim that want scripture that says otherwise? Jesus said that his followers must still follow the laws of the OT (Matthew 5:17) The OT says that a stubborn, rebellious child must be killed (Deuteronomy 21:18-21). Apparently it is you who needs to check your facts.

December 30 2010 at 1:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You cannot legislate nor can you rule from the bench that gay marriage is a natural act that all people have to accept. Until such time as the people are ready to accept gay marriage as a natural union between two human beings of the same sex it simply should not be allowed. Gays are pushing too hard for what they want. After years of seeing same sex couples engaging in public gay marriage may one day be readily accepted but it is wrong to force the issue through the legislature or the courts. Such haste only causes a backlash as has just happened in Iowa.

November 04 2010 at 3:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Just because, I may be in error, the majority of Americans are against Gay Marriages, doesn't mean the majority is right. At one time, blacks had to use separate restrooms and water fountains, go to separate schools, sit in the back of the bus, and accept being treated as second class citizens. This, most people will now agree, was wrong. Gay is now the black of yesterday. Blacks have mostly gained civil rights, that they had all along, but were not allowed to exercise, and it is Gays who are fighting for their civil rights now. Unfortunately, many, perhaps all, Blacks say, it isn't the same. They have theirs, so to heck with the Gays. If the U.S. were to go back to pre-civil rights act days, they would tell a different story. The simply fact is, if you are an American citizen, you have equal rights, or should have, wheither you are Black, White, Yellow, Red, or Brown, Gay or Straight, irregardless of your religion. Citizen rights cannot, says the Bill of Rights, be taken away. Some groups want to deny rights to others, but in the end, I feel, the equal rights of all will be honored.

November 04 2010 at 2:30 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Andy's comment

But your argument doesn't demonstrate that a minority is right, either. Equality? Gays are already equal, if they want to marry the opposite sex then they have the same right I do to marry. The issue is that they want MORE rights than I have, and they want EVERYONE to say that their lifestyle is good and just. I don't agree with it and I don't think that a minority should be able to FORCE me to like something that I consider unnatural. People can't marry their pets or a 5 year old child, but I am sure that somewhere there is someone who would loive to do just that. Gay marriage isn't a right, even regular marriage isn't a right. There are rules. The gay community needs to be honest and explain that they want SPECIAL TREATMENT AND CONSIDERATION in society. They already have equality, they can do anything I can do.

November 04 2010 at 8:02 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

And all along I thought our legislative body created and enacted law while the judicial branch enforced the law.

November 04 2010 at 1:18 PM Report abuse +8 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mullermugs32's comment

Where do you find that gay people want "more" or "special" rights? I am a 69 year old gay male, and never, ever wanted special or more rights than anyone else. All my life, I have been a depressed, pushed down human being, only because I was not like the majority. NO, I think all gays just want equal rights for all, and nothing special or more than. And if you think I have the same rights as you do, then let's swap shoes for a while and then we will talk more about being equal.

November 05 2010 at 8:06 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Well I really do not understand what the judges are complaining about they made a decision that effected a lot of people so those people answered back.A few judges over turn a state law the people agreed with and the people get rid of them.Judges are supposed to uphold the law not make it.BYE BYE judges!!

November 04 2010 at 1:05 PM Report abuse +8 rate up rate down Reply

Judges rule on the LAW. Certain courts have the power of judicial review. Whether you're opposed to gay marriage for whatever reason or support it for whatever reason, legally speaking, it is unconstitutional to deny gays the right to marry. Am I the only one that sees the hypocrisy on what is going on here? Conservatives cry about judicial activism and then go out of their way to make sure that is exactly what happens. If you're going to vote judges out of office because from a legal standpoint they support gay marriage then you might as well just not have judges at all.

November 04 2010 at 12:24 PM Report abuse -7 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Hoyt's comment

Thank you for your sanity.

November 04 2010 at 1:49 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

"it is unconstitutional to deny gays the right to marry" Based on what part of the Constitution? Gays have no more rights to marry than I have rights to be a polygamist. If the state can tell me not to marry my sister, or marry 2, 3 or 4 women at the same time, it surely can decide who can and who cannot marry. Why aren't pedophiles allowed to marry? What of those who would like to marry their dogs and horses? Why even have marital laws in the first place? And don't get me started by comparing homosexuality with the civil rights movement.

November 09 2010 at 5:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It is wrong for a group with a socially/politically correct disorder to use Judges to judges to the law. Politically Correct and what actually correct are at extreme opposite. These Judges were fired because they abused their power

November 04 2010 at 12:22 PM Report abuse +8 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to joper201's comment

Sometimes people have to do the right thing even when it's unpopular. It's not "judicial activism", it's part of what this country is about and one of many reasons it's such a great place to live.

November 04 2010 at 11:42 AM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to Richelle's comment

The judicial system should be held accountable to the people not to their idealogy.

November 04 2010 at 10:59 AM Report abuse +10 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to grrywalk's comment

The judicial system should be held accountable to the Constitution, not to the will of the fickle majority.

November 04 2010 at 12:09 PM Report abuse +8 rate up rate down Reply

All Judges, even the Supreme Court, should be subject to at least Retention Elections. Laws are created by and for the Citizens and should be subject to adjudication with the Citizens intent in mind. We Citizens must have some way to control our Judges as we do our Politicians.

November 04 2010 at 10:49 AM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply


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