So A.J. Spiker, the chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa – with its first-in-the-nation caucuses still in the shop, its leadership firmly in the hands of Ron Paul backers, an alternative form of government tempting its candidates to join a shadow U.S. Senate and its coffers filling with cobwebs – has decided to change the subject.
Take it to that gay marriage well one more time, Mr. Chairman:
“The Republican Party of Iowa believes we must be a state based on laws and not the whims of unelected activist judges attempting to impose their personal views on the public. The people of Iowa are tired of increasingly powerful bureaucrats arrogantly and deceitfully instituting law when they have no justification or ability to do so.
“In 2010 Iowa voters chose to dismiss three activist judges who allowed their own politics to influence their obligation to uphold the Iowa Constitution. These three were among a handful of judges who chose to disregard years of legal precedent on the status of marriage and how it was to be defined. Instead of allowing the people of Iowa to decide this issue at the polls, these judges instead chose to impose their will upon the state and re-write history without weighing the merits of our laws and values. Regardless of political pressure or the state of cultural affairs at the moment, it is the people of Iowa through our elections that must be permitted to decide this important issue.
“Just as Iowans successfully showed in 2010, it is again time to put a check on this power and reign in an activist judge from his position of misused authority. This is the only chance voters have to make their voice heard and we must take the opportunity to remove Justice David Wiggins from his post and show him his arrogance and disregard for the law does indeed have consequences.
“On behalf of the Republican Party of Iowa, I urge all Iowans to go to the polls this November and vote “No” on the retention of Justice Wiggins. Let us make sure voters across all 99 counties send a strong message to the judicial branch and activist judges who may not fully understand the power that individual voters have within Iowa and our entire nation. Vote”No” on retaining Justice David Wiggins and help end the bullying of activist judges once and for all.”
I might have added one more graph.
Don’t let all the libertarian stuff fool you. We can still do wedge issues like nobody’s business. It’s fine if big government denies its citizens basic rights, so long as it comes to a vote first, and they’re not a constituency we happen to care about. And, sure, I may have backed a presidential hopeful who doesn’t see Iranian nukes as much of a worry, and who wouldn’t have gone in to get Osama bin Laden, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know a real threat when I see it. And that threat, my friends, clearly, is Justice David Wiggins.
Here’s the deal. I’m not the president of the David Wiggins fan club. And I, for one, am no longer willing to look at judicial retention as simply a proxy fight on gay marriage, a battle where I staunchly defend some justice because he ruled correctly one an issue I care about. Years have passed since that ruling. Lots of legal water has gone under the judicial bridge. New legal issues have emerged. And there’s little evidence that the last big retention drama and the appointment of three new justices changed the Supreme Court much, if at all.
Also, the legal rationale, or “whim” as Spiker fantasizes, used by the Iowa Supreme Court to strike down marriage discrimination in Iowa is being repeated over and over again by judges at all levels all over the nation. A judge appointed by George W. Bush is the latest to jump on the equal protection bandwagon. The U.S. Supreme Court awaits.
So if Spiker and others want to toss Wiggins, they’d better make a case for us that extends beyond gay marriage. Show us how he’s a lousy justice overall, not just that he made one ruling you didn’t like and can’t get over. I’m listening when you do, and not until you do. Otherwise, we’ll know this isn’t really about law and the courts, it’s another sad, tired ploy to gin up the base, raise bucks and attract outside groups to carpet bomb legislative districts with bile. Speaking of what Iowans are increasingly tired of…