Gavel Grab

Republican’s Opinion: Ouster Campaign Focuses on ‘Fear and Lies’

A Des Moines Register opinion piece criticized a continuing campaign to remove the Iowa Supreme Court justices who unanimously, in Varnum v. Brien, permitted same-sex people to marry. Three justices did not survive a retention vote in 2010, and this year there are calls to remove a fourth, Justice David Wiggins.

Joan Bolin, a corporate insurance lawyer and a former Republican candidate for Iowa state treasurer in 1998, described the campaign against the justices as “loaded with fear-mongering.” Iowans are being told, she wrote, “that due to the Varnum decision…the sanctity of heterosexual marriage is no longer protected and preserved.”

Bolin, a supporter of extending civil rights to same-sex people who marry, also criticized the Iowa Republican Party chairman’s reaction to the Varnum decision:

“The Republican chairman called the Supreme Court justices ‘political bureaucrats’ even though they do not belong to an administrative agency or executive bureau. He said that the justices were ‘arrogantly and deceitfully instituting law’ and that they ‘disregard years of legal precedent’ and ‘re-write history.’ Yet he offered no insight, record or factual information in support of his allegations.”

Far from ”disregarding the law” and allowing ”personal views to influence their decisions,” Bolin wrote, the Iowa  justices based their decision on “the force of law.”

She emphasized that the justices addressed a narrow issue, whether denying civil rights to homosexuals and not to heterosexuals violates the Iowa Constitution. The justices determined “‘yes,’” which was a unanimous decision and in Bolin’s view, a “humbl[e] and honest[] review [of] the Iowa Constitution.” To learn more about the latest ouster drive, see Gavel Grab.


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