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As quickly as articles of impeachment were filed against the four Iowa Supreme Court justices who remained after November’s retention vote which ousted three of their members, House Leadership quickly shot it down.

The articles were assigned to the House Judiciary Committee were assigned to the Judiciary committee which is not scheduled to meet for the rest of the session.  Also, the chairman of the committee, State Representative Rich Anderson (R-Clarinda) has said that it there are no grounds to impeach.  So it is unlikely that it will be debated.

In a statement, Iowa House Speaker Kraig Paulsen (R-Hiawatha) said in a statement, “While I agree with much of the reasoning behind the impeachment resolutions, I disagree with this remedy.  I do not expect it to be debated on the floor of the House, and if it is, I will vote no. House Republicans remain focused on reducing government spending and lowering taxes for Iowa families and small businesses.”

So much for at least having a debate on judicial review and judicial activism.  I can understand the opposition to the impeachment articles (though I disagree, malfeasance is a rather broad term), and I understand that it is a political hot potato, especially if it is seen as distracting them from getting a budget done.  What I would like to know is what Speaker Paulsen and the House leadership intend to do next session to work on judicial reform?

This isn’t just about an opinion that was unpopular, it is about rogue justices who believe they can act as a Super Legislature.  The violated the separation of powers.  If we need to wait until 2012 to oust whatever Iowa Supreme Court justice is up for retention so be it.  I had hoped to see some leadership from the House on this issue whether it was impeachment or some other type of reform.  That was wishful thinking on my part apparently.

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1 comment
  1. First off, thanks to Speaker Paulsen for focusing on what should have been foremost on the thoughts of the legislature all along.

    Secondly, and this is something I’ve asked before, how did SCOI violate the separation of powers? I assume you’re referring to the Varnum decision among others, and their declaration that the pertinent clause of DOMA be stricken from the Code. But again, how was any judicial malfeasance involved in their handling of the case? While their decision may have been unpopular to some people, I challenge you to show me one aspect of their handling of the case that violated the Constitution of Iowa. One. That’s all I ask.

    I’m not trying to start a fight, I would just really like to know what they did wrong, other than render a decision that was unpopular to a very vocal sector of the populace.

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