Judicial retention ballot issue heats up

2010-10-25T15:25:00Z 2010-11-20T02:59:06Z Judicial retention ballot issue heats upBy ROD BOSHART, rod.boshart@sourcemedia.com Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier

DES MOINES - Forces active on both sides of this year's judicial retention vote in Iowa verbally clashed Monday outside the Capitol with warnings that ousting up to 74 judges on the ballot would wreak havoc on public safety and counter claims that the voting booth is the only place left to stop "black-robed bandits" from taking people's rights.

A coalition of groups urging voters to reject Iowa Supreme Court justices Marsha Ternus, Michael Streit and David Baker on the Nov. 2 ballot launched a 20-city, four-day bus tour blasting the judicial trio as activists who attempted to legislate from the bench by creating a right for couples of the same gender to marry that was never envisioned by constitutional framers and does not exist in Iowa law.

"We in the heartland have been taken hostage and we resent it," said Tamara Scott, leader of Concerned Women for America.

"This is you, the voter's, only voice. It is the direct voice to restrain judiciary activism. This is the only direct route you have, utilize it," added Scott, an Ankeny woman who charged that Ternus, Streit and Baker "acted as black-robed bandits, taking what was our right."

U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Kiron, who helped draft Iowa's Defense of Marriage law in 1998 that defined marriage as only between one man and one woman - the law the Iowa Supreme Court unanimously struck down in April 2009 as unconstitutional - said a vote to oust the three justices Nov. 2 will "echo across the land" and give encouragement to Americans fighting to take their constitution and country back.

King said the 7-0 ruling that opened the door for same-sex marriages in Iowa was activist because the justices "ruled that they have found rights in the constitution that were, up to this point, unimagined," a decision that tilted the balance of power among the governmental branches. At the same time, he applauded other judicial rulings that went his way in challenging executive-branch actions on issues dealing with English as Iowa's official language and granting protections for homosexuals in state employment.

Former Iowa Lt. Gov. Arthur Neu of Carroll, a member of the bipartisan Fair Court For Us group, told a counter rally that Iowa voters should not allow outside special interests to turn Iowa's judicial retention vote into a referendum on one issue. He warned that the initial campaign to target three Supreme Court justices "has escalated into the single most dangerous threat to public safety and the function of our courts in Iowa history" because some opponents are advocating to vote "no" on all 74 Iowa judges on the 2010 ballot.

"The removal of judges across Iowa would shut down entire communities and shut down our legal system," Neu said. "I don't think any of us can contemplate the break down of our judicial system should anything close to what they're proposing take place."

U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, said leaders of the vote "no" campaign have "whipped up" people into thinking that defeating judges will make the state better when in reality it would mean "turmoil" and "throw law enforcement into an upheaval" if dozens of judicial positions were vacated next Jan. 1.

Chuck Hurley, a former state lawmakers who leads the Iowa Family Policy Center Action, said there is no organized effort to get people to vote against all judges on the ballot, although he acknowledged he personally would vote against all the judges that appear on the ballot that he votes in part because they have declined to answer the group's questionnaires and have not repudiated the decision that struck down Iowa's 1998 marriage law. He said he communicated those reasons by email to IFPC members last week in response to inquiries about his personal view.

"I am not telling voters how to vote," Hurley said in an interview. ""It's a red herring. They're grasping for something other than the main issue and they're trying to do fear mongering. That's fear mongering, saying that it's going to shut down the courts and it's not going to happen. I'm a convenient boogeyman. I'm used to it."

However, Bonnie Campbell, a former Iowa attorney general, pointed to a Montana license plate on the tour bus opponents are using to fan their "no" vote sentiment to emphasize the effort is being spearheaded by big money "out-of-state special interests" who are trying to tell Iowans what is best for them without considering the full impact of the action.

"Why do they have to? They won't be here after Nov. 3, but the rest of us will," she said.

"The attacks against our judiciary here in Iowa in this election are unprecedented. Justice in Iowa should not be for sale. Our system works, it truly does," Campbell added.

 

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(41) Comments

  1. Kernel
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    Kernel - October 30, 2010 8:03 pm
    THE NERD said: SEXUAL PERVERSION OF ANY TYPE IS ABNORMAL; ANY DEVIATED BEHAVIOR, SHOULD NOT BE NORMALIZED, BE IT CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR, DRUG ADDICTION OF ANY TYPE OF SEXUAL DEVIATION etc etc ... "

    Who determines sexual deviancy? You? Some religion's holy book? If two consenting adults want to enter into a partnership, who are you to tell them they can't? That their relationship is wrong?

    Where does the Bible tell you to judge others, to persecute them? Where does JESUS say this, if you are Christian?

    The rights of minorities should never be in the hands of the majority. The Iowa Supreme Court, made up of judges from both red and blue governors, decided UNANIMOUSLY that a legislature-passed law violated the state constitution. Why would that be? Could it possibly be because the law was unconstitutional?
  2. THE NERD
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    THE NERD - October 30, 2010 5:26 pm
    Get Real said: "“Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual).” Ayn Rand CenterVote Yes!"

    ayn rand was more full of crap than anyone who ever thought of themselves, a philosopher!!

    I don't think there are too many true americans who would want to deprive another american of their rights as provided under our bill of rights!! The crock of crap which was quoted above, has nothing to do with the citizens of this country or state trying to deprive any deviate of their basic rights!! Sexual deviates should not be sanctioned by any state, the privilege of matrimony; marriage is and has been a right reserved for, a male and a female couple!! When a minority seeks rights that twist the original intent of any basic right, that is when the majority should reserve the right to disallow the perversion of those basic rights!! Just as most people do not want their pets to be subject to deviates, perverted sexual compulsions; we do not want our children to grow up believing that sexual perverts are normal, married; just like mom and dad!! Children should not be subjected to suggestions that sexual perversion is something normal - SEXUAL PERVERSION OF ANY TYPE IS ABNORMAL; ANY DEVIATED BEHAVIOR, SHOULD NOT BE NORMALIZED, BE IT CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR, DRUG ADDICTION OF ANY TYPE OF SEXUAL DEVIATION etc etc ...

  3. Get Real
    Report Abuse
    Get Real - October 29, 2010 9:19 pm
    “Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual).” Ayn Rand Center
    Vote Yes!
  4. THE NERD
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    THE NERD - October 29, 2010 7:24 am
    Kernel said: "Sakura Pedaler is providing some great insight for those who are willing to read it. The best part is that she's breaking down the laws, not the emotions. Just like these judges did. And UNLIKE those who want to tear down the establishment of law interpretation for heated emotions."

    I, SUPPOSE SP HAS PROVIDED A BIT OF INSIGHT FOR A FEW; BUT NOTHING THAT HAS ENLIGHTENED ANYONE WHO HAS ALREADY READ AND UNDERSTANDS THE FACTS!

    IN ANY DISCUSSION, FACTS ARE OFTEN TOSSED ASIDE, WHEN EMOTIONS BECOME INVOLVED! I TEND TO NOT ARGUE WITH PEOPLE, I JUST PROVIDE THE FACTS, WHICH OFTEN TIMES, AROUSE NEGATIVE REACTIONS/EMOTIONS!!

  5. Kernel
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    Kernel - October 28, 2010 8:36 pm
    Sakura Pedaler is providing some great insight for those who are willing to read it. The best part is that she's breaking down the laws, not the emotions. Just like these judges did. And UNLIKE those who want to tear down the establishment of law interpretation for heated emotions.
  6. THE NERD
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    THE NERD - October 28, 2010 5:04 pm
    sp - consult any dictionary as to the definition of pervert, perverted, perversion ...

    An understanding, as to the definition, may give you a better understanding of the discussion; of course, being perverted probably means different things according to your degree of perversion, huh?
  7. SakuraPedaler
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    SakuraPedaler - October 28, 2010 4:50 pm
    THE NERD said: ""only that they desired to participate in the same institution in the same manner as heterosexuals do." Isn't there gonna be a bit of a problem with that type of participation, since both partners are similarly equipped??"

    I don't spend time postulating how various people might or might not express themselves sexually. That goes for straight people and gay people; it's not any of my business. And, certainly, it is none of the business of the state of Iowa.

    We are each free to determine what "perverted" means to us. You have determined this for yourself, and I am sure that will land you a compatible mate who feels similarly. When it comes to intimacy, we all want to be comfortable, but I can't prescribe that for other people. Nor can you. Nor should the state.
  8. THE NERD
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    THE NERD - October 28, 2010 11:12 am
    SakuraPedaler said: "All I can say is that the Varnum decision did not change Iowa's incest laws. Everyone has the same obligations, responsibilities, and benefits with regard to marriage. Nothing about marriage laws or incest laws was changed with respect to same-sex couples participating in the institution.I urge you to listen to the oral testimony given in the case, which Iowa Public television has put on YouTube. The plaintiffs' attorney clearly explained that the plaintiffs were not seeking to change anything with regard to how marriage is administered by the state, only that they desired to participate in the institution in the same manner as heterosexuals do.If you ARE interested in marrying your first cousin in a same-sex relationship, you can do so in the District of Columbia. Iowa will recognize this marriage as valid."

    "only that they desired to participate in the same institution in the same manner as heterosexuals do." Isn't there gonna be a bit of a problem with that type of participation, since both partners are similarly equipped??

    ARE YOU NUTS?? If I wanted to get married, it certainly would not be to a sexual pervert; the average, "normal" female is difficult enough to tolerate, in a "normal" relationship!!
  9. SakuraPedaler
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    SakuraPedaler - October 28, 2010 8:25 am
    THE NERD said: "I am really laughing, sorry SP. Would you or could you tell me what difference it would make if two men who are first cousins, who happen to be homosexuals cannot marry? I always thought that first cousins were not allowed to marry because of the possibility of producing progeny which might have birth defects! Has the homosexual population figured a way around this first cousin problem??? HA"

    All I can say is that the Varnum decision did not change Iowa's incest laws. Everyone has the same obligations, responsibilities, and benefits with regard to marriage. Nothing about marriage laws or incest laws was changed with respect to same-sex couples participating in the institution.

    I urge you to listen to the oral testimony given in the case, which Iowa Public television has put on YouTube. The plaintiffs' attorney clearly explained that the plaintiffs were not seeking to change anything with regard to how marriage is administered by the state, only that they desired to participate in the institution in the same manner as heterosexuals do.

    If you ARE interested in marrying your first cousin in a same-sex relationship, you can do so in the District of Columbia. Iowa will recognize this marriage as valid.
  10. THE NERD
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    THE NERD - October 27, 2010 10:38 pm
    SakuraPedaler said: "The Varnum decision did not look at Iowa's incest laws. Read the decision; it is very clear. The incest laws were never in question, and still stand. Two men who are first cousins cannot marry."

    I am really laughing, sorry SP. Would you or could you tell me what difference it would make if two men who are first cousins, who happen to be homosexuals cannot marry? I always thought that first cousins were not allowed to marry because of the possibility of producing progeny which might have birth defects! Has the homosexual population figured a way around this first cousin problem??? HA
  11. SakuraPedaler
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    SakuraPedaler - October 27, 2010 8:06 pm
    THE NERD said: "Public opinion will be the judge of that, wouldn't you think?"

    No, we're each a judge of that in our own homes, on our own time. I may not choose to do the same things as you do in your bedroom. So be it. I don't let "public opinion" come into my home when it comes to intimacy. And good Lord! Don't get the State of Iowa involved in the discussion.
  12. SakuraPedaler
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    SakuraPedaler - October 27, 2010 8:02 pm
    avee said: "I think it’s against the law to marry your cousin, brother or sister. Will the justices allow same sex cousins, sisters or brothers to marry????"

    The Varnum decision did not look at Iowa's incest laws. Read the decision; it is very clear. The incest laws were never in question, and still stand. Two men who are first cousins cannot marry.
  13. THE NERD
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    THE NERD - October 27, 2010 6:29 pm
    AVEE - It seems to be an "anything goes" type of situation, doesn't it?? HA
  14. THE NERD
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    THE NERD - October 27, 2010 6:26 pm
    SakuraPedaler said: ""Sodomy", as you say, is not illegal in Iowa."

    Sodomy under certain circumstances is illegal; in a 1976 ruling, same sex sodomy, was still illegal; it is still illegal in engage in the behavior when in semi-private areas ... I wonder, would the abode of a female who entertains a number male consorts, be construed as a semi-private abode! I couldn't find any recent cases which reached the Iowa Supreme Court!
  15. THE NERD
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    THE NERD - October 27, 2010 6:07 pm
    SP - Hello, human beings are animals; just a branch up the family tree than your average monkey ...
  16. THE NERD
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    THE NERD - October 27, 2010 6:04 pm
    SakuraPedaler said: "Oh goodness! I don't want the state involved in judging how to define "aberrated sexual proclivities". You do what you do in your bedroom, and I'll do what I do. I don't even THINK about what other couples might be doing--gay or straight. And I certainly don't want the State of Iowa getting into it. Ewww!"

    Public opinion will be the judge of that, wouldn't you think?
  17. avee
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    avee - October 27, 2010 5:51 pm
    I think it’s against the law to marry your cousin, brother or sister. Will the justices allow same sex cousins, sisters or brothers to marry????
  18. SakuraPedaler
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    SakuraPedaler - October 27, 2010 5:31 pm
    cubbies08 said: "meatgal said: "I agree w/ TimBrackett 100%! Being a Christian, I believe in the fair rights of ALL people including marrying whoever you want to marry! Does this include all farm animals?"

    The Iowa constitution covers the actions of people, not animals. Animals cannot enter into contracts such as marriage with one another or with people. Come on! Grow up!!
  19. SakuraPedaler
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    SakuraPedaler - October 27, 2010 5:27 pm
    THE NERD said: "If the majority of the people of this state wish to have people with "aberrated sexual proclivities" to be allowed the right of marriage, then they will elect people, who will write the necessary legislation"

    Oh goodness! I don't want the state involved in judging how to define "aberrated sexual proclivities". You do what you do in your bedroom, and I'll do what I do. I don't even THINK about what other couples might be doing--gay or straight. And I certainly don't want the State of Iowa getting into it. Ewww!
  20. SakuraPedaler
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    SakuraPedaler - October 27, 2010 5:20 pm
    THE NERD said: "I think this is my last comment on this subject - If sodomy is still illegal, the fact that the I.S.C. and this state allows same sex marriage seems to be an abrogation ie contradictory to the laws in the state of Iowa, which would forbid those acts ... "

    "Sodomy", as you say, is not illegal in Iowa.
  21. THE NERD
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    THE NERD - October 27, 2010 3:21 pm
    CUBBIES2008 - Good un!! Actually, Meathead used the term whoever, not whatever ... HA

    If those people are able to "normalize their deviation", necrophilia and bestiality marriage will be the next demands of these so-called "minorities" !!!!
  22. cubbies08
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    cubbies08 - October 27, 2010 2:56 pm
    meatgal said: "I agree w/ TimBrackett 100%! Being a Christian, I believe in the fair rights of ALL people including marrying whoever you want to marry!


    Does this include all farm animals?
  23. THE NERD
    Report Abuse
    THE NERD - October 27, 2010 2:30 pm
    I think this is my last comment on this subject - If sodomy is still illegal, the fact that the I.S.C. and this state allows same sex marriage seems to be an abrogation ie contradictory to the laws in the state of Iowa, which would forbid those acts ...
  24. THE NERD
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    THE NERD - October 27, 2010 12:22 pm
    The Iowa Supreme Court decision, was, I believe unanimous: we will need to make sure the other justices on that panel will not be retained when that time arrives! For most intelligent people in this state, religion has absolutely nothing to do with the outrage of that decision!! For me, it has nothing to do with the rights of any other group, religion or whatever designation you may wish to mention! We have a state legislature, they legislate, not the judiciary! This epitomizes the reason the founding fathers wanted 3 branches of government - the executive, the legislative and the judiciary!! If the majority of the people of this state wish to have people with "aberrated sexual proclivities" to be allowed the right of marriage, then they will elect people, who will write the necessary legislation -that is how a democratic nation normally works! If the whey hits the fan, then the judiciary will decide the legality of any law! If there is a problem with a particular statute, the legislature should be given a reasonable length of time to change or correct anything that, WE THE PEOPLE, deem necessary! This court decided there was a problem, then made the decision, apparently w/o the acquiescence of our legislature or people of this state! The democratic led legislature apparently would not allow discussion of the situation, therefore it will be years before this will be decided by and corrected by the people of this state! And it will probably cost the taxpayers of Iowa, a helluva lot of money, before the dust settles, regardless of the final decision!!

    IMPORTANT LEGAL DECISIONS, OR LEGISLATION, INVOLVING SOCIAL MORES SHOULD BE THE DECISION OF THE ELECTORATE, NOT A SMALL GROUP OF ATTORNEYS SERVING IN THE JUDICIARY!!

    Say what you will but most will agree with the truth, as I written ...
  25. meatgal
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    meatgal - October 27, 2010 9:44 am
    I agree w/ TimBrackett 100%! Being a Christian, I believe in the fair rights of ALL people including marrying whoever you want to marry! This is not for people to judge here on earth. If someone does sin according to God, the sinner will be judged on judgement, if said sinner is saved that is...if not, well it doesn't really matter now does it? Same sex marriage is a RIGHT that our judges have upheld! Vote to retain them! They are following the law as it is written.
  26. tllorenz
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    tllorenz - October 26, 2010 7:13 pm
    Politicians, lawyers and liberal activists suggest "ousting up to 74 judges on the ballot would wreak havoc on public safety". Oh no! How will we survive without them?
    and...former Attorney General Bonnie Campbell, "The attacks against our Judiciary here in Iowa in this election are unprecedented.
    I submit the threat of removal by the people of Iowa will be refreshing change and return Judiciary respect to Iowans and Iowa's constitution. These three Judges attacked the people of Iowa first and this is unprecedented. This ruling by the three Supreme Court Justices launches Iowa into a "government in which a small group exercises control especially for corrupt and selfish purposes." -Websters Dictionary.
    Vote No! Vote them out!
  27. radh2o
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    radh2o - October 26, 2010 6:14 pm
    I guess I'm still trying to figure out what's wrong with same sex marriage. I don't see how opponents of same sex marriage feel their "rights" have been taken away by allowing everyone to get married if they want to. I have a hunch the same group that opposes same sex marriage would have been the same group protesting against equal rights for blacks & other minorities. Whether they like it or not this issue won't die if three judges are sacrificed.
  28. truther8
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    truther8 - October 26, 2010 5:16 pm
    Too many Iowa "Judges" routinely violate their oath of office, violate the Constitution's of the US & state and constructively deny due process to innocent people. "Christians" got their panties in a bunch over "judges" conjuring up images of homosexual relationships, butt seem OK with all the lying, cheating and thieving "judges" do on a regular basis. Iowa Supreme Ct. case 10-0344 (on appeal from Scott Co. case LACE112272) demonstrates how the good ole boy culture of court corruption defrauds citizens of honest services. When a child molester can be paraded before the court as a decent citizen by an unscrupulous lawyer who filed a frivolous action without ever having to produce one iota of proof or evidence to support the false claim and "judges" misconduct themselves and use intimidation tactics to cover their fraud, these "courts" need attention. REVOKE THEIR PENSIONS.
  29. reojoe
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    reojoe - October 26, 2010 9:48 am
    If people have a problem with the Constertution, then (1) either get rid of it or (2) let's just elimernate the third branch of gubment. However, to actually show so much detest for our Constertution is a bit frightening, to me, especially when most of these hate mongers wrap themselves in the flag and tell us how much they love our country.
  30. THE NERD
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    THE NERD - October 26, 2010 8:41 am
    There should be no need for a paradigm - The people of this state were aggrieved!! I voted against retention, then left the rest of the judge spaces empty!!!

    It is really amusing that the chief justice is scurrying around the state, arguing against politicizing the judical, as she is virtually making campaign speeches!! GEEZ!!!

    I bet most of the nation are scratching their collective heads wondering why, when we have one of the best governors, with a great record of one of the best states in the nation! And the people are thinking of replacing Chester with someone whom would best serve Iowa by staying retired!!

    Then some will wonder, why people in other states consider Iowans as dunces ...
  31. SakuraPedaler
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    SakuraPedaler - October 26, 2010 7:46 am
    I would vote to retain all three. There is no pattern of malfeasance on the part of any of these three judges. That is the standard we should set; not the outcome of one court case.
  32. TimXXX
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    TimXXX - October 26, 2010 4:40 am
    I'll be happy to vote them out.
  33. THE NERD
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    THE NERD - October 25, 2010 11:54 pm
    Hmmm ... A christian, indeed ...
  34. timbrackett
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    timbrackett - October 25, 2010 9:33 pm
    EsquireIowa said: "Liberal activist judges are going to be voted out...those who love liberty and Christian values should check out the "Judge Bus" and vote "no retention""

    I love liberty and am a Christian, but I will not be riding the judge bus and I will be voting to retain all three justices.
    N8R put it best...
  35. wloofan2000
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    wloofan2000 - October 25, 2010 8:00 pm
    @Kernel: My thoughts exactly. Someone gets their panties in a bunch because judges make a legally correct decision (keep in mind, these aren't "liberal" judges... Branstad appointed one of them). Good luck getting any Republi-bots to see logic.
  36. Del
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    Del - October 25, 2010 6:49 pm
    Someone needs to remind Marsha that she wasn't elected to the state legislature, nor were her two colleagues.
  37. Kernel
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    Kernel - October 25, 2010 6:37 pm
    Quick, Iowans! Undermine the third branch of government, the ONE branch that isn't directly decided by a majority, that stands to protect minority groups against mob rule! Quick, get those evil judges out, because they made a simple declaration that a law violated the Iowa Constitution! Teach them all a lesson about defending our state's most important document!
  38. IowaHawk1969
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    IowaHawk1969 - October 25, 2010 6:22 pm
    No No NO!
  39. bowstrike
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    bowstrike - October 25, 2010 4:42 pm
    So... our public safety, and the function of our courts hinges on these three judges?

    Wake up Iowa! Don't let these fear mongering hippie pigs sway your vote.

    If you like what these judges did, vote yes. If you are against what they did, vote no! You decide for yourself.

    We are not mindless drones.
  40. EsquireIowa
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    EsquireIowa - October 25, 2010 4:38 pm
    Liberal activist judges are going to be voted out...
    those who love liberty and Christian values should check out the "Judge Bus" and vote "no retention"

    http://www.judgebus.com/
  41. N8R
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    N8R - October 25, 2010 4:22 pm
    Let's see if I understand this correctly: To protect us from "Judicial Activism" we have to make the Judicial system bow to the wishes of Activists? Who protects us when the "Activists" are wrong?
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