According to a new poll, a majority of
Iowa voters would vote against at least one Iowa Supreme Court judge
who ruled in favor of gay marriage.
The Iowa Poll of 550 likely voters
shows that forty percent of Iowans will vote to remove the three
judges, and 16 percent say they will vote against at least one judge.
Forty-four percent of Iowans say they want to keep all three
J. Ann Selzer, the pollster for The
Des Moines Register, which commissioned the poll, called the
numbers “very tricky to interpret.” “I think it suggests that
some justices, and perhaps all, will be removed. It lines up along
Democrat and Republican lines pretty easily, except for low-income
voters, which is typically a Democratic constituency.”
The judges are being targeted for
ouster by social conservatives who disagree with the court's
unanimous April 2009 ruling that brought gay marriage to the Midwest.
Voters will decide in November whether
to keep Chief Justice Marsha Ternus and Justices David Baker and
Michael Streit. The remaining four judges are not on the ballot this
The justices have already rejected the
idea of campaigning to keep their posts.
Former gubernatorial candidate Bob
Vander Plaats has spearheaded the movement to oust the judges. The
Sioux City businessman has rented office space and hired six staffers
to man his Iowa for Freedom campaign.
Vander Plaats, a staunch opponent of
gay marriage, says the judges should be removed because they
overstepped their authority.
“They voided the law and it should
have gone back to the legislature,” he said on KCCI's Newsmakers.
“We saw the Supreme Court go outside its jurisdiction. The
legislature is responsible for creating all laws. [Iowa for Freedom]
truly believes the [court] usurped the will of the people.”
“All power is inherent in the people,
not the courts,” he added. “This is a great civics lesson on who
makes law, executes law and amends the constitution.”
Vander Plaats has refused to answer
questions about who's funding his group. But social conservative
groups the Iowa Family Policy Center (IFPC), which endorsed Vander
Plaats' gubernatorial campaign, and the anti-gay American Family
Association (AFA) have contributed “several hundred thousand
dollars,” Chuck Hurley, the IFPC's director said.
Three Republican 2012 presidential
hopefuls have endorsed the campaign.
Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, former
House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick
Santorum are in favor of axing the judges for deciding in favor of