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September 25th, 2012
 

Vander Plaats, Santorum Launch “No Wiggins” Bus Tour

Judicial activism, not gay marriage, was the focus as conservatives launched the “No Wiggins” bus tour on Monday. Iowans for Freedom, version 2.0, is aimed at convincing voters not to retain Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins. He is one of the judges who thrust same-sex marriage upon the state.

The 2010 effort succeeded in ousting three of the seven justices who ruled unanimously in favor of gay marriage in the infamous Varnum decision. More than half a million Iowans voted “No” on retention. Bob Vander Plaats is once again spearheading the campaign

“In 2010, Iowans learned this is not a radical issue,” Vander Plaats said during a rally outside the State Capitol building. “This is not a Republican issue. Democrats, independents who are concerned about freedom, they voted with us to vote those three justices out and I believe they’re going to vote with us again.”

2012 Iowa Caucus winner Rick Santorum joined in the effort two years ago. Bringing much more clout this time, Santorum returned to the state for the first day of the 17-stop bus tour.

“You have an opportunity here in Iowa to continue what you did two years ago, and you struck a blow,” Santorum said. “But now you have an opportunity to maybe even tip the balance with a fourth justice. So you have four new judges on the court and an opportunity maybe even to reverse this horrific decision.”

Same-sex marriage was an afterthought at the rally in Des Moines. Although the speakers remain vehemently opposed to the practice, their remarks centered upon judges making law, instead of their proper role of interpreting the law.

This is not just about marriage. It’s not just about morality. This is about the constitutional process that our Founding Fathers set in place so long ago and the Iowa Bar Association worked to put in place this retention vote,” said Tamara Scott, said co-chair for Iowans for Freedom. “And yet, when the people decide to use it, they’re criticized as politicizing it.”

There was little pushback from the justices two years ago. That is not the case this time. The Iowa State Bar Association is shadowing the “No Wiggins” effort around the state, holding rallies in the same cities in an effort to keep the justice on the court.

“Quite frankly, anyone associated with the Iowa State Bar Association and any attorneys speaking on their behalf should be flat out ashamed,” Vander Plaats said.

The Family Leader CEO referenced a survey of state bar association members which showed Justice Wiggins receiving a 63 percent approval rating, the second lowest of any other judge who appears on the 2012 ballot. The average score was 90 percent. Vander Plaats said it’s “unconscionable” to retain a judge who essentially scored a D-minus.

“What they said in that scoring instrument is Judge Wiggins is arrogant. He’s confrontational. He’s not all that bright and above all, he’s lazy,” Vander Plaats told the crowd of two dozen supporters. “Now, ladies and gentleman, take that Varnum decision out of there. He does not deserve to be on the bench and we need to vote Wiggins out on November 6.”

Polls show that acceptance of gay marriage is increasing. The “No Wiggins” campaign leaders hope that some day Iowans will be allowed to decide the issue’s fate, instead of seven judges. While gay marriage remains mostly a partisan issue, Iowans for Freedom believe judicial activism should concern everyone.

“People of faith and no faith, even if you don’t agree with my position on the issue of marriage, understand the danger that allowing judges to determine what the law of the land is,” Rick Santorum said. “Running roughshod over the constitution, the laws of the state, is a danger to people on both sides of the aisle. There is as much a chance of conservative judicial activism as there as is for liberal judicial activism.”

Photo by Dave Davidson, Prezography.com


About the Author

Kevin Hall
Kevin Hall brings almost two decades of journalistic experience to TheIowaRepublican. Starting in college as a radio broadcaster, Hall eventually became a television anchor/reporter for stations in North Carolina, Missouri, and Iowa. During the 2007 caucus cycle, Hall changed careers and joined the political realm. He was the northwest Iowa field director for Fred Thompson's presidential campaign. Hall helped Terry Branstad return to the governor's office by organizing southwest Iowa for Branstad's 2010 campaign. Hall serves as a reporter/columnist for TheIowaRepublican.com.




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