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Forum Post: Iowa GOP eyes pay cuts for pro-marriage justices

Posted 7 years ago on April 26, 2013, 2:09 p.m. EST by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC
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By Steve Benen - Fri Apr 26, 2013

In 2009, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality, and ever since, Republican activists have been trying to punish the justices involved. As Miranda Blue explained the other day, Iowa conservatives will try just about anything: "In 2010, anti-gay groups funded a successful campaign to oust three justices in retention elections. Then Iowa anti-gay leader Bob Vander Plaats called for the remaining justices to resign. When that didn't work, state Republicans then tried to impeach them. Last year, an effort to remove a fourth justice failed at the ballot box."

The new plan is a doozy.

A handful of [state] House conservatives want to reduce the pay of Iowa Supreme Court justices involved in a 2009 decision striking down a ban on same-sex marriages as part of an effort to maintain the balance of power in state government.

"It's our responsibility to maintain the balance of power" between the three co-equal branches of government, Rep. Tom Shaw, R-Laurens, said Tuesday.

The justices "trashed the separation of powers" with their unanimous Varnum v. Brien decision and implementation of same-sex marriage without a change in state law banning any marriages expect between one man and one woman, added Rep. Dwayne Alons, R-Hull.

Keep in mind, there's no attempt at subtlety here. It's not like Iowa Republicans are saying they have to cut judges' salaries to address a budget crisis. Rather, they simply hope to cut the pay for state Supreme Court justices Republicans don't like.

It's unusually shameless -- justices on the state court who didn't side in support of marriage equality in 2009 will receive their full pay, justices who endorsed equal marriage rights will get a pay cut.

Jillian Rayfield noted that proponents of the idea insist their measure is not intended to be punitive; Iowa Republicans are "just holding them responsible for their decision, for going beyond their bounds." Yeah, that ought to clear things up.

It's unclear if the bill has a credible chance of passing, but the fact that it was proposed at all is rather stunning.




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[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 7 years ago

Equality takes one step forward -

Moments ago the Minnesota Senate made history by passing the marriage equality bill 37-30. Marriage equality has passed both chambers of the legislature and the bill now goes to Governor Dayton who will sign it into law. Take a moment right now to thank your legislators for voting for marriage equality.

A bell of freedom rang out today from America’s heartland as Minnesota became the first state in the Midwest to pass marriage equality through its state legislature. With today's vote Minnesota has continued its strong tradition of standing up for all families and treating others with fairness and equality.

This success is the result of hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans like you speaking out, to each other and to your legislators, about why marriage equality matters. These direct, honest, and heartfelt conversations changed hearts, minds, and in the end history. Because of you, a youth in Coon Rapids knows that her identity isn't something to fear, but to celebrate. Because of you, a couple in Minneapolis who have been together for decades can now have their love recognized and respected by the state they love. Because of you, the movement for equality is in an even stronger position to make strides across the country.

Make sure you thank your legislators today for voting in favor of marriage for loving and committed same-sex couples in Minnesota.

HRC is proud to have been a part of this remarkable effort from the very beginning, with staff on the ground and over $1 million committed to the effort we have provided the most significant contributions of any other national partner. We knew that with the right talent and resources combined with the incredible passion of Minnesotans throughout the state, we could get this done.

On behalf of every HRC member across the country, thank you. Thank you for inspiring us in our continued work of making our nation one of fundamental fairness and equality for all.

The work goes on,

Marty Rouse National Field Director Human Rights Campaign

© 2013 The Human Rights Campaign. All rights reserved. Human Rights Campaign | http://www.hrc.org/ 1640 Rhode Island Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036-3278 Phone: 202-628-4160 TTY: 202-216-1572 Fax: 202-347-5323

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 7 years ago

Good deal. Moving forward. +

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 7 years ago

Another reason why the shills are in an uproar.

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 7 years ago

The fact that it actually has to come to a vote is bad enough.

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 7 years ago

But because equality often is treated as a slogan instead of a truth/law - it needed to be passed - and now equality has taken another small step towards reality.

[-] -1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 7 years ago


[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 7 years ago


Change can be made -