Concern in Iowa as Another Activist Judge Faces Defeat
August 28, 2012
The closer we get to Election Day, the sillier the arguments in favor of keeping activist Justice David Wiggins get. In 2010, three Iowa Supreme Court justices who joined in the infamous decision to overturn the state’s traditional marriage law lost their jobs after Iowa voters decided not to retain them. Wiggins could soon be the fourth.
The Quad City Times has weighed in with an editorial warning that if Wiggins is defeated, Iowa voters will be responsible for “creat[ing] a safe haven for justices comfortable with publicly pronouncing judgments on issues before they reach the court.” Really? If there’s some evidence the paper has that voters want judges who will promise votes on cases before they get to the bench, the editors aren’t revealing it.
That’s because the truth is, holding judges accountable won’t give us unscrupulous judges. But we might get judges who actually respect the limits on their power and understand their job is to interpret the law, not legislate from the bench.