DES MOINES, Iowa –
When voters go to the polls, many do not focus on the people running for various city, county or state justice positions. Some leave those contests blank or choose the name they like the best. Prior to 2010, only four judges had not been retained since 1962 in elections in Iowa, and zero of them were on Iowa’s Supreme Court, according to American Judicature Society. That all changed this year when three of Iowa’s Supreme Court Justices were ousted out of office, thanks to an influx of spending cash from the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), a group that’s only purpose is to keep marriage between one man and one woman.
Iowa Chief Justice Marsha Ternus and Justices David Baker and Michael Streit did not receive the 50 percent vote needed to keep their seats. These three justices had voted in favor of allowing same-sex marriage in the state in 2009. The three justices issued a joint statement in defeat.
“We hope Iowans will continue to support Iowa’s merit selection system for appointing judges. This system helps ensure that judges base their decisions on the law and the Constitution and nothing else.
Ultimately, however, the preservation of our state’s fair and impartial courts will require more than the integrity and fortitude of individual judges; it will require the steadfast support of the people.”
NOM President Brian Brown was proud of the work he and his team did in Iowa.
“This election, we want Iowans to know that their values and their votes matter,” Brown said. “They need to know where these Justices stand, and unfortunately they stand on the idea that as Justices they are elite and are above the scrutiny of the people’s voice. Our opponents claim there is no such thing as an activist judge, but these judges have substituted their own values for the values of working families in Iowa.”
Iowa Gov. Chet Culver, the politician who was pro-LGBT rights, lost his election for another term to Gov.-elect Terry Branstad, who in July told The Des Moines Register that there would be sufficient political pressure to force a vote on a marriage amendment.