DES MOINES (AP) — A new group is spearheading an effort to retain an Iowa Supreme Court justice whom others are trying to oust because of his participation in the ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in the state.
Justice Not Politics announced a campaign Thursday supporting the retention of David Wiggins, and other judges, on the Nov. 6 general election ballot.
“Iowa judges have a strong tradition of ruling based on law,” said Sally Pederson, former Iowa lieutenant governor and chairwoman of Justice Not Politics.
Voting to retain judges is a “vote to protect our courts,” Pederson said Thursday in a statement.
“Iowa Democrats, Republicans and independents need to stand together to prevent out-of-state special interest groups from intimidating our judges by threatening to spend millions to oust them,” she said.
Justice Not Politics plans to sign up supporters and distribute campaign materials at the Iowa-Northern Iowa football game today in Iowa City. Zach Wahls, a young man raised by lesbian mothers in Iowa who has spoken out and written a book on the subject, will attend the event.
Wiggins is one of seven justices whose unanimous 2009 ruling legalized same-sex marriage in Iowa. He's the fourth justice in the case to come up for a retention vote. The first three were booted off the bench by voters in 2010 after an ouster campaign led by Iowans for Freedom, an offshoot of the Christian conservative group Family Leader.
Iowans for Freedom has promised a campaign aimed at driving Wiggins from office. Those opposed to retaining Wiggins plan to embark on a four-city “No Wiggins” bus tour starting Sept. 24 in Des Moines.
“We are very passionate about our effort to restore integrity to the Iowa Supreme Court by ensuring the constitutional intent for the separation of powers,” Bob Vander Plaats, president of the Family Leader and chairman of Iowans for Freedom, said earlier this month in a press release announcing the bus tour.
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