Three Iowa supreme court judges could...

Three Iowa supreme court judges could lose their jobs

There are 86 comments on the WHOtv story from Oct 31, 2010, titled Three Iowa supreme court judges could lose their jobs. In it, WHOtv reports that:

On Tuesday, one or more Supreme Court judges could be unemployed and it's never happened in Iowa like this before.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at WHOtv.

Greevous

Albany, GA

#43 Nov 1, 2010
Giggs wrote:
<quoted text>
This is an example of the ignorance that I am talking about. The intentions may be pure, but this poster is wrong on the basics of our civic system and the judiciary's obligations and role within that system.
The judiciary "ignores the majority" because it has no responsibility to. In fact, "the majority" has absolutely no bearing on the case. It is not a democratic excerise, but rather a constitutional one. 99.9% of the citizens can support a law, but if it is deemed unconstitutional the Court must strike it down. Majority support has absolutely nothing to do with it. The Court also has no obligation to uphold a law written and passed by the legislature if the law is unconstitutional. It's called checks and balances and you learned about it in 6th grade civics class. These are some of the basics that the 'Vote No' crowd repeatedly gets wrong. You guys seriously lack a basic understanding of civcs.
Lastly, Concerned, what "midwest values" are you talking about? I am a born and bred midwesterner and I believe in the value of equal rights for all. Why is it you have to change our Constitution in order to install your "values" in it? Apparently the founders of our state didn't share your "values."
Giggs, I think it depends on where you put the magnifying glass. To some extent you're right. It is indeed the role of the courts to protect the rights of an unpopular minority. However, if you move the magnifying glass back a little, you remember that it is the responsibility of ALL members of a representative democracy, ultimately, to respond to the will of the people. The Iowa Supreme court should have remanded the issue back to the legislature (as was done in Vermont) once it concluded that there was an equal protection issue that needed addressed. Then everyone would have had their representation, and the courts could have either upheld the new legislation or struck it down for unequal protection.
The general population may be ignorant of sixth grade civics lessons, but they know when they smell a rat. The Iowa Judicial Nominating and Qualifications Commission is made up of almost all Democrats.( http://www.michnews.com/Guest_Commentary/ap41... ) The Democrats are learning a very valuable lesson about ignoring the will of their constituency, and the judges are going to pay for their nominators' willfulness. It may not be entirely fair, but John Lily said "all is fair in love and war" and Carl von Clausewitz said "war is the continuation of politics by other means", so, I guess we can conclude that "all is fair in love and politics".
Greevous

Albany, GA

#44 Nov 1, 2010
HIGHWAY 420 wrote:
I never side with giggs. But he is absolutely correct. To think otherwise is not logical. What if the majority wanted to bring back slavery, or how about taking away the right for women to vote? In the minds of the majority voter that would be acceptable? A person cannot be discriminated against for any reason. As usual some who can't propose an actual argument always resort to name calling. We need more freedom to live our lives not less. Like he says another judge will interpret the constitution in the same way changing nothing.
Highway, let's play out your scenario (which, by the way is different than the one playing out here, but we'll ignore that for now). Let's say we all decide that we want slavery back. We pass legislation that brings it back. This violates federal law of course, so our state Supreme Court would (rightly) strike it down, not because it violates equal protection per se (which it would), but because of . If we persisted in passing more and more legislation of this type, eventually the Federal government would declare us to be in some state of insurrection, and the matter would be resolved by armed conflict (which the citizens of Iowa would almost certainly lose).

The question is, does Equal Protection even apply here?

From the 14th Amendment: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

Life certainly isn't at stake. Liberty? Not really. Property? No. Arguably it's this last phrase: "nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws". The problem is that marriage was a common law construct long before anything about it was codified, and under common law it certainly didn't include SSM (that was actually a crime called 'sodomy' or 'buggery'). So what in the world do we do in that situation? Strip away all the codified marriage code, and let a new definition of marriage emerge?(Or not emerge). My assertion is that the religious definition of marriage needs to be separated from the civic definition. The state need not ever invoke the word "marriage", and rather provide a collection of rights and responsibilities in the form of a civil union that is equally available to all citizens. Marriage happens at my church, civil union happens relative to the state. I think that's the only clean solution, but we'll probably never get to that point due to the political rhetoric around this contentious issue.

Since: Jan 10

Des Moines

#45 Nov 2, 2010
Greevous wrote:
<quoted text>
Highway, let's play out your scenario (which, by the way is different than the one playing out here, but we'll ignore that for now). Let's say we all decide that we want slavery back. We pass legislation that brings it back. This violates federal law of course, so our state Supreme Court would (rightly) strike it down, not because it violates equal protection per se (which it would), but because of . If we persisted in passing more and more legislation of this type, eventually the Federal government would declare us to be in some state of insurrection, and the matter would be resolved by armed conflict (which the citizens of Iowa would almost certainly lose).
The question is, does Equal Protection even apply here?
From the 14th Amendment: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
Life certainly isn't at stake. Liberty? Not really. Property? No. Arguably it's this last phrase: "nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws". The problem is that marriage was a common law construct long before anything about it was codified, and under common law it certainly didn't include SSM (that was actually a crime called 'sodomy' or 'buggery'). So what in the world do we do in that situation? Strip away all the codified marriage code, and let a new definition of marriage emerge?(Or not emerge). My assertion is that the religious definition of marriage needs to be separated from the civic definition. The state need not ever invoke the word "marriage", and rather provide a collection of rights and responsibilities in the form of a civil union that is equally available to all citizens. Marriage happens at my church, civil union happens relative to the state. I think that's the only clean solution, but we'll probably never get to that point due to the political rhetoric around this contentious issue.
Awesome point. I am a conservative, this is one area that I profoundly disagree on with most in the repub. party. Didn't this start as declaring it to be a civil union? It granted same sex couples the same rights as the rest of us. The vast majority of couples were happy with this arrangement, but the ultra fanatical sub-section were still furious. My entire point has simply been that if 2 people of the same sex want to be married, it effects me and you in absolutely positively no way shape or form. If anything it will be a positive thing for our state. We need more freedom not less in America. So many forget that our country was founded on freedom, to live your life with as little government intrusion as possible. Throughout our entire human history a small percentage of persons have been attracted to the same sex. They aren't turned, they are BORN that way. And since most religions believe God creates people as who they are, then hasn't God created them gay? Who are people to refute what is in Gods plan for someone? Organized religion has been a scourge on all people since it's inception. More people have died in the name of one religion or another than all the wars, famine, disease, and natural disasters combined. Once a person brings the religious aspect into the debate, they immediately lose the argument.
West Des Moines

Des Moines, IA

#46 Nov 2, 2010
This one's easy.

No

No

No
West Des Moines

Des Moines, IA

#47 Nov 2, 2010
HIGHWAY 420 wrote:
<quoted text>Awesome point. I am a conservative, this is one area that I profoundly disagree on with most in the repub. party. Didn't this start as declaring it to be a civil union? It granted same sex couples the same rights as the rest of us. The vast majority of couples were happy with this arrangement, but the ultra fanatical sub-section were still furious. My entire point has simply been that if 2 people of the same sex want to be married, it effects me and you in absolutely positively no way shape or form. If anything it will be a positive thing for our state. We need more freedom not less in America. So many forget that our country was founded on freedom, to live your life with as little government intrusion as possible. Throughout our entire human history a small percentage of persons have been attracted to the same sex. They aren't turned, they are BORN that way. And since most religions believe God creates people as who they are, then hasn't God created them gay? Who are people to refute what is in Gods plan for someone? Organized religion has been a scourge on all people since it's inception. More people have died in the name of one religion or another than all the wars, famine, disease, and natural disasters combined. Once a person brings the religious aspect into the debate, they immediately lose the argument.
Being gay is a choice, and a lifestyle. Just like taking drugs is a choice and a lifestyle. Marriage is an institution of God. Our founding fathers did not institute separation of church and state, in fact, the largest church in the U.S. in the 1800's was the hall of Congress. By legalizing gay marriage, this group is spitting in the face of God, saying they are better than God and his Law. This only means that the day of God's judgement on this earth is close at hand, and they will be rudely awakened to the fact that God's Law is the ultimate authority. God is going to rapture His people on May 21, 2011. Only those who beg for God's mercy and forgiveness and turn from their sins if elected by God will be saved from the punishment to come. For more information, tune in to 91.3 FM in the Des Moines area. God's judgement is close at hand!
RANDO

Ankeny, IA

#48 Nov 2, 2010
I agree,people are not born gay,its an avenue they decide to take later.....

Since: Jan 10

Des Moines

#49 Nov 2, 2010
West Des Moines wrote:
<quoted text>
Being gay is a choice, and a lifestyle. Just like taking drugs is a choice and a lifestyle. Marriage is an institution of God. Our founding fathers did not institute separation of church and state, in fact, the largest church in the U.S. in the 1800's was the hall of Congress. By legalizing gay marriage, this group is spitting in the face of God, saying they are better than God and his Law. This only means that the day of God's judgement on this earth is close at hand, and they will be rudely awakened to the fact that God's Law is the ultimate authority. God is going to rapture His people on May 21, 2011. Only those who beg for God's mercy and forgiveness and turn from their sins if elected by God will be saved from the punishment to come. For more information, tune in to 91.3 FM in the Des Moines area. God's judgement is close at hand!
I knew you were a religious nutjob. Is that eastern or pacific? I've been hearing that same crap for 40 years, the day comes then well maybe the voice of God was heard wrong? After all dinosaur bones were put here just to test our faith...
Anyway, so a person has a choice huh? Does that mean you could be gay if you decided that was the way to go? I don't know about you but God made me attracted to women, apparently bitchy women in fact. I could no more deny my sexuality than someone who is gay. You and your kind want to impose your views on everyone. I find it hard to believe for thousands of years cultures believed in other Gods, but your God is the right one? Your kind is as responsible for the decline of America as the other end of the spectrum.
bojo360

Omaha, NE

#50 Nov 2, 2010
Why the name calling? Is it impossible to write your views without all the histrionics? What if there were no God? Would we care if gays marry? And if there is should we be ones to deny the gays that right?

Some of you really need to find other interests, than trying to divine the hearts of others.
West Des Moines

Des Moines, IA

#51 Nov 2, 2010
bojo360 wrote:
Why the name calling? Is it impossible to write your views without all the histrionics? What if there were no God? Would we care if gays marry? And if there is should we be ones to deny the gays that right?
Some of you really need to find other interests, than trying to divine the hearts of others.
I guess you will just have to wait and find out. The Bible says, "every knee shall bow, of every creature in heaven, earth, and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." You can either do that now, or before God Himself on Judgement Day, but you will do it either way, God's word is the Truth. I have chosen to beg God for forgiveness for what I have done and to do live out the rest of my days in His will. Jesus is the only way of salvation from sin and the eternal punishment of God.
iowa supporter

Muscatine, IA

#52 Nov 2, 2010
they need to go as a principle. No one has the right to make up a new constitution at their whim.
It wont change the decision but those left and the replacements will think about what Iowans want not how important they are.
Learn to spell

Johnston, IA

#53 Nov 2, 2010
Billp wrote:
I hope their collective resume's are dusted off.
I and other are voting no on all of them.
There needs to be term limits for all government offices and appointments like judges. Your in office too long, you begin to think your above the law.
Good Bye Justices
I hope that you use spell check on your resume...
You're, not Your
others, not other
What

Johnston, IA

#54 Nov 2, 2010
iowa supporter wrote:
they need to go as a principle. No one has the right to make up a new constitution at their whim.
It wont change the decision but those left and the replacements will think about what Iowans want not how important they are.
They did not make anything up.
Below is what was cited from the Iowa Constitution:
Sec. 6. All laws of a general
nature shall have a uniform operation; the
General Assembly shall not grant to any citizen,
or class of citizens, privileges or immunities,
which, upon the same terms shall not equally
belong to all citizens.
CIVIL marriage

Johnston, IA

#55 Nov 2, 2010
West Des Moines wrote:
<quoted text>
I guess you will just have to wait and find out. The Bible says, "every knee shall bow, of every creature in heaven, earth, and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." You can either do that now, or before God Himself on Judgement Day, but you will do it either way, God's word is the Truth. I have chosen to beg God for forgiveness for what I have done and to do live out the rest of my days in His will. Jesus is the only way of salvation from sin and the eternal punishment of God.
I am a devout Episcopalian, pray daily, attend mass weekly, and cannot wait to see my Lord when I am in heaven. But none of that has to do anything with this issue. This is a matter of civil law, not religion...
Reverse the roles

Johnston, IA

#56 Nov 2, 2010
Greevous wrote:
<quoted text>
Giggs, I think it depends on where you put the magnifying glass. To some extent you're right. It is indeed the role of the courts to protect the rights of an unpopular minority. However, if you move the magnifying glass back a little, you remember that it is the responsibility of ALL members of a representative democracy, ultimately, to respond to the will of the people. The Iowa Supreme court should have remanded the issue back to the legislature (as was done in Vermont) once it concluded that there was an equal protection issue that needed addressed. Then everyone would have had their representation, and the courts could have either upheld the new legislation or struck it down for unequal protection.
The general population may be ignorant of sixth grade civics lessons, but they know when they smell a rat. The Iowa Judicial Nominating and Qualifications Commission is made up of almost all Democrats.( http://www.michnews.com/Guest_Commentary/ap41... ) The Democrats are learning a very valuable lesson about ignoring the will of their constituency, and the judges are going to pay for their nominators' willfulness. It may not be entirely fair, but John Lily said "all is fair in love and war" and Carl von Clausewitz said "war is the continuation of politics by other means", so, I guess we can conclude that "all is fair in love and politics".
I would like to see what you would say if you were on the minority end of a supreme court desicion. Would you still be saying that it should be up to majority rule?
Show me the changes

Johnston, IA

#57 Nov 2, 2010
Rod wrote:
Actually, the issue isn't about gay marriage. The issue is about the courts rewriting the laws, in their own words. Rather than the words of the people who passed the laws. It wouldn't matter to me if they rewrote the laws to disallow abortion, rewrote them to get rid of all the red light cameras, or if they rewrote them to get rid of all taxes. The issue is they stretch their authority too much and they need to know they cannot do this. Yes this won't overturn their ruling, but it sure as hell will let them know they overstepped their bounds.
Can you show me a copy of the Constitution of the State of Iowa and show me exactly which words have changed because of these judges? If you can, I will vote no on these three judges...
West Des Moines

Des Moines, IA

#58 Nov 2, 2010
CIVIL marriage wrote:
<quoted text>
I am a devout Episcopalian, pray daily, attend mass weekly, and cannot wait to see my Lord when I am in heaven. But none of that has to do anything with this issue. This is a matter of civil law, not religion...
When our government's laws contridict the Bible, we have a civic duty to uphold the truth of the Bible against those who would enforce unbiblical laws on our society. We as Christians, are to obey the laws of man when they do not contridict the Bible, for if we are accused wrongfully, we will be a light to those who see this injustice.
CIVIL marriage

Johnston, IA

#59 Nov 2, 2010
West Des Moines wrote:
<quoted text>
When our government's laws contridict the Bible, we have a civic duty to uphold the truth of the Bible against those who would enforce unbiblical laws on our society. We as Christians, are to obey the laws of man when they do not contridict the Bible, for if we are accused wrongfully, we will be a light to those who see this injustice.
There is separation of church and state to protect us from being forced into views that are not in line with what we belive.

It goes both ways, you know. Without separation of church and state, the government could make a law saying we all have to be Methodist, or Roman Catholic, or that everyone has to be an Athiest.

On a side note, what biblical laws do you think we should follow? All of the old testament laws? If so, there are a lot of people that are going to be stoned to death for eating shell fish and wearing clothes of mixed fibres (including myself and my mixed cotton/rayon sweater, oh no!).
Dan D

Chariton, IA

#60 Nov 2, 2010
Giggs wrote:
<quoted text>
The Court DID NOT rewrite law and the Court DID NOT "overstep their bounds." Literally every single person I have talked to and poster on this forum who will be voting against retention of the judges is inexcusably uneducated on the basic facts of this issue.
The entire 'Vote No' campaign is based on ignorance. Period. You all, quite literally, have no idea what you are talking about.
I downloaded the PDF copy of the Iowa state Constitution and unless you really twist the preamble I don't see how they upheld the Iowa State Constitution. Judges are to uphold laws not make laws from the bench. Morals should be considered in judgements.
Its in the constitution

Johnston, IA

#61 Nov 2, 2010
Dan D wrote:
<quoted text>
I downloaded the PDF copy of the Iowa state Constitution and unless you really twist the preamble I don't see how they upheld the Iowa State Constitution. Judges are to uphold laws not make laws from the bench. Morals should be considered in judgements.
Sec. 6. All laws of a general
nature shall have a uniform operation; the
General Assembly shall not grant to any citizen,
or class of citizens, privileges or immunities,
which, upon the same terms shall not equally
belong to all citizens.

Seems pretty clear to me. They passed a law saying the privilage to marry is not granted to same sex couples but it is to mixed sex couples...
Its in the constitution

Johnston, IA

#62 Nov 2, 2010
To elaborate: They = the Iowa congress in the late 1990s passed the protection of marriage act.

The judges used Section 6 of the Iowa Constitution to state that privilage to marry is not granted to same sex couples but it is to mixed sex couples and, thus, is unconstitutional.

They did not change anything in the constitution, they did not add anything to it, they did not remove anything from it, they just said that one law was against another (which is what they are supposed to do).

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