|Iowa Supreme Court Building|
Clint Brewer and Grant Schulte of USA TODAY looked at efforts to recall judges in Iowa, Illinois, Alaska, Kansas, Florida, Colorado and Michigan, a source of growing alarm for the national nonpartisan Justice At Stake campaign.
Special attention was paid to the successful right-wing hit squad attacks on three Iowa Supreme Court Justices (largely propelled by two alleged Mormon front groups, NOM and Iowa Family Leader, an organization whose leader, Bob Vanderplaats, assures us has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the national group whose board is dominated by LDS members and whose name is IDENTICAL to the the Iowa organization, capiche?)
A group of 60 candidates, interviewed this week by a non-partisan state commission, waited Thursday to learn which nine of them will move on to meet with Iowa's Republican governor, Terry Branstad.
The candidates — including trial and appellate court judges, private attorneys, former federal prosecutors and law professors — sought to succeed Iowa Chief Justice Marsha Ternus and Justices David Baker and Michael Streit, who were ousted in November's retention election held in the face of heated opposition to the ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in the state.
Branstad will decide which three to appoint, without legislative approval.
Bob Vander Plaats, who led the successful campaign to oust the three Iowa justices, is calling on the remaining four to resign and has launched a bus tour through Iowa to build conservative support. "Even people against our movement, more than half a million people voted no confidence to this court," Vander Plaats said.
Some Republicans in the Iowa House have pushed to impeach the remaining justices, but Democratic leaders have vowed to block all action rather than allow that. "We'll try to shut the place down," said Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Des Moines Democrat. "You'll hear a debate like you've never heard before."