After the Iowa Supreme Court’s ruling last year declaring Iowa’s Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich declared that the ruling showed “judicial arrogance.” Then he predicted a major battle over judicial power. Yesterday, speaking to a group of pastors and church leaders in Des Moines, IA, Newt Gingrich highlighted the importance of the retention vote that Iowans have in November. Three of the Iowa Supreme Court justices (Chief Justice Marsha Ternus, Justice Michael Streit, and Justice David Baker) are up for retention, and the Iowa Constitution allows a retention vote every eight years for Supreme Court justices.
Gingrich said that Iowa is at “ground zero.” He said that Iowans can “turn out and vote no on the three judges who betrayed the people of Iowa.” He also said that there is “no better place to send a clarion call” to the left-wing legal secular elite.
In a Q&A session after his speech he was asked about how the Republican Party of Iowa unify after a bitter Gubernatorial primary, he said on issues, and then specifically stated “your vote on judges can be a unifying issue.” He said that is something all Republicans should be able to get behind.
I completely agree. As one of those in attendance I was glad that he highlighted this at the beginning of his speech, and while he touched on a variety of issues, this was a major theme which resonated. The courts do need to be held in check on not just the marriage issue, but also with any instance courts overstep their constitutional authority.
Speaker Gingrich was also asked if he thought it would make a difference, would the other side care? He noted that we’d likely see a different atmosphere the day after three justices are voted out. I’m sure we would as well.
It’s time to place the judicial branch on notice.