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Justice Wiggins retained in Iowa

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Hanel is a senior marketing and public relations double major and can be reached at jared.hanel@drake.edu

As many of you know, Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins held onto his seat after voters on Tuesday opted for retainment. For many, the vote for his retainment was less about Wiggins and more about same-sex marriage in Iowa. For me, not only is it about same-sex marriage, but also about the perseverance of the ideologies of a true judiciary.

In April 2009, the Iowa Supreme Court made a unanimous and monumental decision to pass same-sex marriage as a ruling in the Varnum v. Brien case. Bob Vander Plaats, president and CEO of The Family Leader, a social conservative organization, has since traveled around the state in order to rally for the removal of every justice that was part of the decision. To my dismay, this man is actually successful at getting three of those justices removed so far.

Our government was founded on three branches: the executive, the legislative and the judicial. Our founding fathers established this system of checks and balances to govern the sovereign people while guaranteeing that one branch cannot have absolute power. The judiciary was founded in absence of political agenda. This branch is to interpret the law and form a ruling accordingly.

In April 2009, the Iowa Supreme Court interpreted the law and ruled the ban of same-sex marriage unconstitutional. Now, I know that for one reason or another, many readers may disagree with the ruling. Whether it be religious, or whether you think the concept of a man and a man or a woman and a woman is just vile to think about, but think about this, all of those justices on the court are men married to women, have children, and were appointed to the court by governing officials of both conservative and a liberal nature based upon their proven experience and exceptional ethic. They are not Democrats seeking to allow gays to marry and to pass any liberal agenda that they come across.

As an individual that is personally affected by this ruling, of course I am proud such a colossal step forward was taken by the great state of Iowa. I’m ecstatic that those affected by this ruling will be able to marry the one they love. I am thrilled for the simple fact that Iowa made a monumental step towards national equality and humanitarianism. With my personal feelings and political views aside, as a constituent, I would still vote for the retention of the Supreme Court justices even if they were to decide to uphold the ban on same-sex marriage. After all, their appointment was made for the interpretation of governing law which is exactly what the justices did that day.

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