Former gubernatorial candidate Bob
Vander Plaats is escalating his efforts to oust three Iowa Supreme
Court judges who ruled in favor of gay marriage.
Appearing Sunday on KCCI's Newsmakers,
Vander Plaats said 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 the program. “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.”
The low-lying campaign to remove the
judges has been underway since the court's unanimous April 2009
ruling that brought gay marriage to the Midwest. But after losing
the Republican nomination for governor to Terry Branstad, who is also
opposed to gay marriage, but, unlike his rival, did not focus his bid
exclusively on repeal of gay marriage, Vander Plaats shifted his
focus to the judges.
The Sioux City businessman has rented
office space and hired six staffers to man his Iowa for Freedom
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
Also appearing on the program was
former Iowa Supreme Court Justice Mark McCormick, who told KCCI host
Kevin Cooney and Vander Plaats that the appropriate means of altering
the decision is to amend the Iowa Constitution and that removing the
judges will not reverse the ruling.
“You're presupposing without any
basis in fact or in law that this court did not have jurisdiction to
apply the equal protection clause of the Iowa Constitution. But it
does, and that's part of the judicial oath here,” McCormick said.
Three Republican 2012 presidential
hopefuls are already on record as supporting the effort.
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