Five conservative GOP lawmakers have
proposed cutting the salaries of Iowa Supreme Court justices who
participated in the court's unanimous 2009 ruling which brought gay
marriage to the Midwest.
On Tuesday, the group of Republicans
filed an amendment to the state House's judicial branch budget. The
amendment seeks to lower the pay of the remaining four justices who
participated in the ruling by nearly 85 percent, from roughly
$163,000 annually to $25,000, or equal to the pay of legislators.
The court's Varnum v. Brein
decision angered social conservatives, who mounted a successful 2010
campaign to oust three of the justices. A subsequent campaign last
year to vote a fourth justice off the bench failed.
Iowa State Rep. Tom Shaw, one of the
co-sponsors of the measure, said that the amendment sought to
“maintain the balance of power” between the three branches of
“We're just holding them responsible
for their decision, for going beyond their bounds,” Shaw told the
Rep. Larry Sheets added that the
justices had “overstepped their constitutional boundaries.” He
said that if justices are going to make laws from the bench, then their
compensation should match that of legislators.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Rob Hogg, a
Democrat, dismissed the proposal.
“How ridiculous can you get?” he
said, adding that such a pay scheme would likely be struck down by