"Give it a break, Bob.
"After scoring a victory of sorts when Iowa voters decided not to retain three Iowa Supreme Court justices last month, Bob Vander Plaats is at it again.
"This time he's calling for the remaining four justices to step down from the state's high court. His request is in response to the court's unanimous April 2009 ruling that effectively legalized the freedom to marry in Iowa.
"'I think honestly this is the honorable thing to do,' Vander Plaats said. 'They were all part of this ruling. We voted three off because they were the only ones on the ballot. Had the other four been on the ballot, they would have been voted off as well.'
"They weren't on the ballot, and Vander Plaats' wish for a clean sweep of the Iowa Supreme Court, because he disagrees with one unanimous decision, is unbelievable. For starters, getting rid of our entire Supreme Court would not change the outcome of the ruling.
"We have maintained that it would be the responsibility of the legislative branch in bringing the issue to a vote - something our legislators have declined to do.
"Incoming Gov. Terry Branstad has stated he would like to see the issue come up before Iowa voters. Senate Majority Leader Michael Gronstal, however, is vowing to block action on any referral.
"Meanwhile, it has been our view that the court correctly judged the issue of civil marriage under Iowa's constitutional standards of equal protection - without regard to religious views.
"So, what are Vander Plaats' motives? His continued crusade to disrupt Iowa's judicial system is curious at first glance. However, Iowans should be aware that in October, the Iowa Family Policy Center named Vander Plaats the CEO of an organization called The Family Group, which oversees IFPC and Marriage Matters. It's an organization that vigorously opposes marriage equality and reportedly pays Vander Plaats an annual salary.
"Perhaps he is simply being the mouthpiece for this organization and we are giving him way too much credence as a former gubernatorial candidate.
"Many voters were furious that they never were allowed to vote on the issue. We suspect, for many, the retention vote became their venting outlet.
"Simply put, the justices paid - with their jobs - for the Legislature's failure to bring this issue to a vote.
"Following Vander Plaats' logic, perhaps he should be asking Gronstal to step down.
"We feel it was unfortunate that three justices seemingly lost their jobs to one hot-button issue - one in which they used the Iowa Constitution as their guide.
"It's becoming increasingly clear that Vander Plaats' posturing and grandstanding is completely self-serving. He's reminiscent of a vigilante pacing outside the courthouse waiting to dispense his own justice, before these high court members are even up for retention.
... "We would urge Vander Plaats to recognize that the people also spoke when they rejected him as our next state leader."
Vander Plaats’ actions in Iowa self-serving
December 14, 2010
Posted on wcfcourier.com:
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