HRC Blog

Iowa GOP Targets Another State Justice

Post submitted by Dan Rafter, Former HRC Associate Director of Communications

Voters have identified job creation, the economy, and the budget deficit as the top issues on their minds heading into November’s election – but that isn’t stopping the Iowa GOP from instead choosing to wade into the state’s judicial branch and advocate for the ousting of a justice who ruled in favor of marriage equality in 2009.

State GOP Chairman A.J. Spiker recently said voters should remove Justice David Wiggins because his 2009 marriage equality ruling represented the "whims of unelected activist judges attempting to impose their personal views on the public."

Two years ago, anti-LGBT organizations and leaders – including the National Organization for Marriage and Newt Gingrich – led an unprecedented campaign to politicize the state’s judicial branch and oust chief justice Marsha K. Ternus, Michael Streit, and David Baker.

Under Iowa law, justices face a retention vote in the election year after their appointment, and every eight years after.

Former Iowa Lieutenant Governor, Republican Jay Corning, said of the move to oust Wiggins:

It is sad and appalling that leadership in the Republican Party of Iowa would inject politics into our fair and impartial courts. They're not speaking for moderate, fair-minded Iowans. Removing brave and principled judges last election wounded our reputation, our courts and our state. Iowans are proud of our courts and we want them to be free from the influence of politics.

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