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Tags court decisions , gay marriage , Iowa politics , judicial activism charges

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Old 4th September 2009, 10:03 AM   #161
ToddH
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Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
I am shocked and dismayed at the complete lack of support for my assertion that Gigi is the gayest movie ever.

Followed closely by Barbarella.
Sorry. Top Gun is the gayest movie ever. I thought everybody knew that?
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Old 10th February 2010, 11:04 AM   #162
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New development, from the Des Moines Register:
Quote:
Both the Iowa House and Senate on Tuesday rejected Republican-led efforts to move forward on a resolution to repeal same-sex marriage.

The actions were procedural and not direct votes on the issue of marriage. They centered on identical joint resolutions in each chamber seeking to amend the Iowa Constitution to specify the state will recognize only marriage between one man and one woman.
Oh, well, that won't stop the anti-sodomite forces. Neither will the general feeling of the electorate that the issue is a waste of time:
Quote:
An Iowa Poll taken earlier this month showed that 62 percent of Iowans think the issue of gay marriage doesn't deserve lawmakers' time, rating below texting while driving, puppy mill legislation, gun control, payday loans and gambling.
Got that? Puppy mills are a bigger problem than two folks of the same sex creating a marital relationship. The surprise is that gun control is a bigger concern. When I last checked, Iowa's gun laws were pretty good as they were, and there wasn't much need for or call for changes to the laws (although a case could be made that existing laws needed to be better enforced).

Anyway, the whole purpose of this futile stunt was so that at election time, a bunch of supposed adults could write "homo-lover" on their palms to remind themselves of this deep point when making their election stump speeches.
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Old 10th February 2010, 11:06 AM   #163
pgwenthold
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Originally Posted by Brown View Post
Anyway, the whole purpose of this futile stunt was so that at election time, a bunch of supposed adults could write "homo-lover" on their palms to remind themselves of this deep point when making their election stump speeches.
I'd have "puppy hater" written on my palm...
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Old 10th February 2010, 02:24 PM   #164
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Originally Posted by Brown View Post
The surprise is that gun control is a bigger concern. When I last checked, Iowa's gun laws were pretty good as they were, and there wasn't much need for or call for changes to the laws (although a case could be made that existing laws needed to be better enforced).
Of course, they're concerned. Haven't you heard that Obama is going to try to take away all their guns?

Originally Posted by pgwenthold View Post
I'd have "puppy hater" written on my palm...
I'd go with "monkey spanker", but I'm not sure that's relevant for this thread.
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Old 31st August 2010, 06:58 AM   #165
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The newest development in the tale, according to the Des Moines Register, is that the justice who wrote the Iowa Supreme Court's unanimous opinion was selected to do so in an unusual way:
Quote:
The Iowa Supreme Court ruling that extended marriage rights to same-sex couples was assigned to Justice Mark Cady for one simple reason: He picked the case out of a box.

Cady told a graduating Iowa law school class this year that he "became the author of the decision by chance," according to a video of the commencement speech posted online in July. He said the justices pulled numbers from a box to decide who would write the Varnum vs. Brien opinion, which allowed gay and lesbian couples to marry.
Meanwhile, the Republican gubernatorial candidate who wanted to make gay marriage his principal issue failed to get the party's nomination (the party preferring four-time former governor Terry Branstad). Undeterred by his defeat, Bob Vander Plaats is pressing to remove three justices from the bench (the three are up for retention in the November ballot). Justice Cady is not up for retention this year.
Quote:
Vander Plaats has said his effort is based not just on the gay marriage ruling, but on the potential for "blatant judicial activism" in cases involving private property and gun rights.
Wow, taking him at his word, he actually wants to remove justices from the Supreme Court, not because they ARE blatant judicial activists, but because they MIGHT BE.
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Old 31st August 2010, 07:12 AM   #166
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Originally Posted by Brown View Post
Wow, taking him at his word, he actually wants to remove justices from the Supreme Court, not because they ARE blatant judicial activists, but because they MIGHT BE.
That's about as clear a definition for "activist judge" being "someone who doesn't agree with me" as you'll find.
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Old 21st January 2011, 07:45 AM   #167
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Originally Posted by Praktik View Post
Remember when all the hippies thought: "well when we get older and the old people around NOW die out we're gonna legalize weed"

it didn't happen.

While all the demographic trends point to a shift happening wherein once the dinosaurs stuck in the muck of backwards Victorian morality die out that we'll finally be able to shed all of this anti-gay stuff - is the same thing going to happen?
In other words, are there enough NEW bigots being made to hold the status quo beyond our expectations?
This is an old thread, that I happened to run into. The fact is it is happening. The opinion shift has been dramatic since the 1960's. Where support rose dramatically until the mid 1970s. Then we had a conservative backlash and a the crack wars and support was stagnant. In the last 15 years support is up another 80%.

What's driving this is support is growing among moderates. Liberals range from 60-75% in favor of decriminalization. Moderates are shifting from about 25% up to almost 50%. Assuming they start to look like liberals you'll have the percentages to win referendums. More importantly you may have too many people for DAs to win convictions at trial.
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Old 7th May 2012, 02:08 PM   #168
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The three justices who were voted off the Iowa Supreme Court have received the "Profile in Courage" award from John F. Kennedy's daughter, Carolyn Kennedy. Story and photo here.

Three sitting justices attended, as did a large group of supporters. According to the story, the "ousted judges all struck warning notes in describing being fired for an unpopular decision that they continue to regard as correct."

Former Justice Baker said: "I am comfortable with my vote in that case and even if I had known what would have occurred, I would not have changed my vote."

Former Justice Streit read from a letter that probably produced gasps:
Quote:
Streit recounted a handwritten letter the justices received a few days after the Varnum decision was unveiled. The author recounted that the had "defended the likes of you" as an American soldier in Korea and elsewhere, "but I now think I served the wrong aside."

"'Hitler treated queers the way they should be treated in the gas chamber,'" Streit said in quoting the letter. "'You are bastards.'"

"This brought home to me what the gay community and their family members struggle with every day," the former justice said. Streit said he hopes the award acts as "a ripple of hope that creates a current and this current can sweep away such prejudice."
Former Chief Justice Ternus said that "calling judges activist or elitist ads nothing of substance to the public debate about the important issues of our times." She also blasted "(e)fforts to intimidate the judiciary and turn judges into theologians or politicians in robes...."

And then there are other views:
Quote:
Meanwhile, the Iowa Family Leader this morning issued a statement praising "the approximately 525,000 Iowans who had the courage to remove these three activist Iowa Supreme Court justices" in 2010.

Bob Vander Plaats, president and chief executive of the organization, said in the statement that the "elitist" Kennedy Library Foundation award "applauds the abuse of power for agenda acceleration" and is "a direct insult to over one-half million informed and constitutionally astute Iowans" who voted to remove the honorees.
Yes, as we all know, the voters took a greater risk, knowing that what was right would not be popular, and went ahead and did what was right in spite of the risk to themselves, and that their actions were in no way motivated by irrationality or fear. And if you believe that....
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Old 3rd April 2014, 08:24 AM   #169
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The Varnum decision is five years old today.

The world has not ended. No deity has brought down punishment upon anyone because of what the court did, as far as anyone can tell (perhaps suggesting divine acquiescence in the decision?). Three justices were voted off the Iowa Supreme Court in a disgraceful hissy fit, but otherwise not much has changed. The Iowa Constitution has not been amended. Varnum is still good law.

There is a story on the Des Moines Register web site that includes comments from some of the former justices. Some of their comments are not really surprising, except that the things discussed usually aren't made public.

For example, the case file was enormous but the justices wondered what rationale could possibly be offered for justifying the law. "We just don't like homos, period" won't cut it, and the supposedly reasonable rationales seemed to be weak and overbroad. Former Justice Streit:
Quote:
I think the attorneys did a great job in the case, but it's hard to argue the position when the only argument they have is the state interest in protecting procreation, which is pretty feeble. Why would you let old people get married over 50 or 60? Why would you let people get married if they don't intend to have children?
Former Justice Baker:
Quote:
They essentially had the four bases. Child-rearing of course that was a little difficult for them to say when we allow same-sex couples to adopt. Procreation. Tradition, I don't know is necessarily a decent reason. Tradition can simply mean that discrimination existed for a long time. And of course the elephant in the room, which was religion, which you can't use as a basis for this.
And because the case for discrimination was so goddamned pitiful, the case was actually an easy one for the justices to decide. Former Justice Streit:
Quote:
In all our cases ... we discuss the case after it's argued. So we go back into chambers and we start with the writing justice (Mark Cady) discussing what we all just saw. ... And then the way our group works is we progress around the table. ... By the time we're getting to Justice Appel I'm thinking, "This is going to be unanimous."
Laws have to be reasonable. That is, they have to be supported by reason and reality. Not by emotion, not by tribalism, not by tradition, not by religion. Those arguing in favor of the discrimination to their credit did not resort to shameful disparagement of homosexuals unsupported by any evidence or logic. They tried to resort to legitimate and secular reasons ... but their reasons were no good. The aftermath of the Varnum decision suggests that all the opponents of same-sex marriage had, and all they currently have, is their naked, bigoted, unreasonable hatred. From a letter to the Court, often quoted by Former Justice Streit:
Quote:
I defended the likes of you as an American soldier in WWII and Korea. I conclude I served the wrong side Hitler treated Queers the way that they should be treated in the gas chambers! You are bastards.
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Last edited by Brown; 3rd April 2014 at 08:26 AM.
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Old 3rd April 2014, 08:53 AM   #170
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Originally Posted by Brown View Post
And because the case for discrimination was so goddamned pitiful, the case was actually an easy one for the justices to decide.
I've claimed it before, and no one has corrected me: there was not a single judge who examined that case who did not rule in favor of gay marriage.

This is to me the most interesting part of this case. This was not a case of some rogue judge or set of judges. Everyone agreed with it. There was no debate at all. The law was clear on this matter.
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Old 3rd April 2014, 01:01 PM   #171
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Originally Posted by pgwenthold View Post
I've claimed it before, and no one has corrected me: there was not a single judge who examined that case who did not rule in favor of gay marriage.

This is to me the most interesting part of this case. This was not a case of some rogue judge or set of judges. Everyone agreed with it. There was no debate at all. The law was clear on this matter.
It goes further than that. It shows that the judges in Iowa and other states are not "activist" judges, enacting their view of what the law ought to be.

Again, it is a cornerstone of law that all statutes must be reasonable. Based upon reason. Supported by evidence rather than by fancy or rumor or dogma or religious belief or mere appeal to what the majority wants. Logically related to legitimate governmental goals, and rationally tailored to achieve those goals without excessive collateral effect.

The prohibitions in question flunked that basic principle.

Yes, when it was time for the anti-gay forces to "show their cards," they had nothing but their irrational hatred and fear. It should have been an easy case, and in Iowa, it was.
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Old 4th April 2014, 11:23 PM   #172
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It's been said, but thank you Brown for keeping this thread entertaining and informative. Very interesting case overall.
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