Dueling bus rallies travel Iowa for judge retention vote

Posted by Jessica Daley on woi-tv.com:

"It's a controversy unlike the state of Iowa has ever seen. The campaigns over the retention vote of three Iowa Supreme Court justices heat up Monday morning with dueling bus rallies at the Statehouse. 
 
"National conservative groups along with former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, Iowa Congressman Steve King and Bob Vander Plaats will be rolling out the Judge Bus tour. They'll visit 45 counties over four days urging Iowans to vote 'no' on retaining the justices. 
 
"Not to be outdone, supporters of the three judges will launch their own tour, Homegrown Justice. They'll also be at the capitol tomorrow and will organize bus stops throughout the state countering the conservative voices.

"The reason for the uproar is due to the 2009 unanimous decision [by Iowa's Supreme Court] to legalize the freedom to marry.  ABC5 political analyst John Epperson of Simpson College said if it weren't for this controversial ruling there would be no opposition to keeping the justices on the bench.

"'To see organized campaigns at this level, I don't think has ever happened in this state,' said Epperson. The Supreme Court has always been grounded in equality rights for all Iowans. 'I don't think this was a radical decision. I think it fits with other equality protection decisions that this court and other courts have made,' Epperson said.

... "Whether you are for or against marriage equality, that may not be the only thing that determines your vote. 'For some, judges make controversial decisions but that isn't enough reason to end their tenure,' explained Epperson.

"Even if the justices are voted out, there's no guarantee three conservative judges will replace them. Repealing the freedom to marry is a feat of its own. That will require either another marriage case be brought to the Supreme Court or a proposal for a constitutional amendment."

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