Saturday, November 6, 2010

Voting the Straight Party Ticket

I love this story!



Judicial Retention: Three judges in Iowa were disrobed on Tuesday for voting to end the state's ban on gay marriage. Even those who legislate from the bench would be wise not to ignore we the people.

We've often complained about the power of unelected judges who, when not circumventing the U.S. Constitution and those of their respective states, are busy inventing new rights that often conflict with the will of the people, even after voters or their elected representatives have voted the opposite way.

In some states, while voters may not get to pick the judges, they can vote to retain them based on their judicial rulings or whatever. Few voters pay attention long enough to remember names or scan the sometimes long list of names found at the end of their ballots under the words "judicial retention." This time, Iowa voters did.

Vote totals from 96% of Iowa's 1,774 precincts showed that three judges — Marsha Ternus, the chief justice; Michael Streit and David Baker — failed to get the simple majority needed for them to remain on the bench.

Their replacements will be appointed by incoming Gov. Terry Branstad, a newly elected Republican who signed the state's Defense of Marriage Act during his first term 12 years ago. It's a reminder that the judicial appointment power and the preferences of governors and presidents need to be something voters should pay attention to.

It's the first time since the merit selection and judicial retention system was enacted in Iowa in 1962 that voters have ousted judges. Said Bob Vander Plaats, the Sioux City businessman who led a campaign to remove the justices because of the 2009 gay marriage ruling: "The people of Iowa stood up in record numbers and sent a message . .. that it is 'We the people,' not 'We the courts.'"
More at the link.

RELATED: "What Happened to Proposition 19?"


Dennis said...

At the very least groups should keep a record of the kinds of votes on how judges adjudicate. Every so often these results should be released to the voting public. When election times comes these lists should be highlighted by every means possible to the voting public.
The "media" is especially bad in relaying information about judges unless it becomes so egregious that they cannot ignore it. The MSM cannot be expected to provide other than what their views represent.
I think most of us are smart enough to recognize when judges need to rule against majority opinion and they can ensure that their rulings include the applicable law as it is written in this country. They just need to know that the voters are watching and can remove them.