Saturday, September 22, 2012

Editorial of the week: Rekha Basu in the Des Moines Register about sabotaging judicial independence

From Rekha Basu's piece on the Iowa Family Leader's statewide bus tour to get rid of an Iowa Supreme Court Justice:
...a couple of national Republican politicians are jumping on a bus — or is it a bandwagon? — to try to turn Iowans against an Iowa judge. This isn’t about you, gentlemen...
     This campaign is nothing more than blackmail. ...It’s a warning to future judges that if they vote a certain way, it could cost them their jobs.
     ...First, the Iowa Family Leader turned judicial retention elections vindictive. Then the Iowa Republican Party turned them partisan, when its chairman last month called on Republicans to oust Wiggins. Now politicians like Jindal and Santorum are turning them national, though they should have no dog in this.
     ...What do Jindal and Santorum even know about Wiggins or his nine years of Supreme Court rulings? Do they know how Iowa’s judicial selection system works...? Do they know that both the justice who wrote the marriage decision and the chief justice at the time of the ruling were selected by a governor of their own Republican Party?
     ...these outsiders are helping to destroy judicial independence in Iowa for a long time to come.
     ...None of that apparently matters to those who would help sink our state’s well-honed system of judicial independence to further their own political prospects in the nation’s first caucus state. Shame on them. And shame on us if we allow them to lead us down that path.

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