Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Don't Judge Me

Once again, the elitists of this state don't like having power in the hands of the people.

Iowa Supreme Court Justice Wiggins (sounds like a Carol Burnett sketch and the scientific community is united in that fact) authored a letter campaigning for his job as he bemoaned political campaigning.

Judges in Iowa are allowed to form campaign committees and raise money, but they'd rather do it subtly using state funds for a Iowa Voters Judicial Directory or by traveling the state on the taxpayers nickel.

The Iowa State Bar Association (ISBA) put out a video listing the criteria that voters should look for in a judge or justice.

Lawyers lawyering up for Lawyers.

The ISBA didn't feel a need to educate voters when most voters didn't vote on judges and those judges easily retained the peoples seats.

The issue of money, some out of state, in the judicial campaign process has been raised again.

Incoming Iowa State Bar Association President Guy Cook calls money and politics a “cancer that will kill the system”, yet the ISBA charges a membership fee and has out of state members.

Keep in mind, it's the ISBA who rates judges for retention.

The CEO of a major Iowa employer was critical of outside interests and their spending in Iowa, yet this CEO is okay with his company doing national and international business.

This CEO also lectured Iowans that removing judges on the basis of one decision was not what Iowans intended when they amended the state’s constitution in 1962.

The Iowa Constitution  --

Terms — judicial elections.  SEC. 17.  Members of all courts shall have such tenure in office as may be fixed by law, but terms of supreme court judges shall be not less than eight years and terms of district court judges shall be not less than six years.  Judges shall serve for one year after appointment and until the first day of January following the next judicial election after the expiration of such year.  They shall at such judicial election stand for retention in office on a separate ballot which shall submit the question of whether such judge shall be retained in office for the tenure prescribed for such office and when such tenure is a term of years, on their request, they shall, at the judicial election next before the end of each term, stand again for retention on such ballot.  Present supreme court and district court judges, at the expiration of their respective terms, may be retained in office in like manner for the tenure prescribed for such office.  The general assembly shall prescribe the time for holding judicial elections.

It states they MAY BE RETAINED IN OFFICE, it doesn't say they're guaranteed retention and it doesn't spell out any criteria for voting yes or no.

As I stated two years ago --

For me this has never been about one ruling, I've been voting NO on judges since I first voted in 1976.

Most judges I've encountered come across as pompous asses who believe they are the law, or above the law.

For me it is part of the checks of the system and utilizing the no retention may keep the scales of justice balanced and the judges centered in reality. 


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