Two tours are criss-crossing Iowa trying to reach voters before the November election.
The tours are spreading messages about the retention of an Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins who was part of the 2009 decision on same sex marriage.
Both will roll into Cedar Rapids and Greene Square Park to convince people to vote for or against Justice Wiggins. The “Yes Iowa Judges” tour, in support of Justice Wiggins’ retention, will pull up at around 11:15 a.m. Tuesday. Just a half an hour later, the “No Wiggins” bus tour rolls in at the same location. They’ll both park at Greene Square Park where they’re hoping people will gather in support of either side of the debate. The tours kicked off Monday.
Attorneys with the Iowa State Bar Association will be passing out information to voters as part of the “Yes Iowa Judges” tour. Their hope is that Justice Wiggins will be retained based on his experience.
“Justice Wiggins got passing grades in all of the areas that we want voters to consider which is: Is he ethical? Is he qualified? Does he have the right temperament? He meets all of those qualifications,” said Attorney Allison Heffern with the Iowa State Bar Association’s Board of Governors.
Heffern said Wiggins supporters want politics to stay out of the retention vote in November.
“I mean the whole judicial system is set up, not to have decisions made based upon what the majority wants. I think that’s why lawyers are so concerned. We think our judicial system is in jeopardy if voters start voting on one case. It’s really about the qualifications of the judges,” Heffern said.
But supporters of the “No Wiggins” tour don’t think that’s an easy task.
“It’s very hard to separate the judge from that decision,” Benton County GOP Chair Loras Schulte said. “It’s a decision that the people of Iowa expressed their utter displeasure with. Frankly, I’m voting no and I hope they do, too.”
“No Wiggins” bus tour participants said they would be standing up against judicial activism. They want to protect traditional marriage and continue what they started two years ago. That’s when voters ousted three justices, including Chief Justice Marsha Ternus. People against Wiggins believe that momentum will continue this November.
“I do believe that social conservative base of the conservative party is very passionate about this issue,” Schulte said. I expect it will be an issue that will be on the front burner along with jobs, the economy, taxes.”
Once the tours finish up in Greene Square Park, they will head to Dubuque and then to Black Hawk County.