Iowa voters split on removing state justices for marriage equality ruling

Posted by Patrick O'Connor on

"Iowa voters split just about evenly on whether to remove the state’s Supreme Court justices for their ruling last year to honor the marriages of same-sex couples, according to a new Des Moines Register poll.

"Thirty-seven percent of likely voters say they’d vote to remove all three justices who are on the ballot this year, while 34% would vote to keep them. Another 10% say they would retain some.

"The survey found that the strongest argument for keeping the justices was the idea that ousting them would politicize the court, and the strongest argument for their removal was that the courts should reflect the will of the people.

"Iowa Supreme Court justices are appointed by the governor and face retention votes after a year on the bench and every eight years after that. Three justices are on the ballot this November, including Chief Justice Marsha Ternus, and each took part in the unanimous 2009 decision legalizing the freedom to marry in the state.

"The issue serves as a backdrop for a governor’s race in which Chet Culver, the incumbent Democrat, trails Republican Terry Branstad, a former governor, by double digits in most polls. A trio of House Democrats also faces tough re-election fights."

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