Elections are always about choices. In Iowa this year, the choice we will make in the voting booth will influence what kind of judicial system we have in Iowa. Right now, special interest groups from outside the state are spending a lot of money trying to influence Iowa voters and convince us to make our courts more partisan. As a lawyer who practices in these courts, I strongly believe that our rights, our freedoms, and our Constitution, are best served by an independent, non-political judiciary. We need to keep money and campaigns out of our courts. That is why I am urging you to turn your ballet over and vote YES to retain Iowa’s judges.
In 2010, an estimated $800,000.00 was spent by groups attempting to insert politics into our judicial system. They ran television ads alleging Iowa’s Supreme Court Justices would eliminate “long-established traditions and rights” while showing images of children performing the pledge of allegiance, and fathers hunting with their sons. They ran fake “eharmony” ads which falsely claimed that the Iowa Supreme Court had legalized incest. In short, these groups lied to Iowa voters in an attempt to further a partisan political agenda.
The same outside money is back again this year and there is no telling what kind of outrageous lies will be told this time. Iowa has a long tradition of nominating and appointing judges in a non-partisan manner. The non-partisan Iowa State Bar Association, comprised of attorneys throughout the state, on both sides of the political aisle, is urging the public to vote YES for retention this year. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has stated that Iowa’s judges are among the fairest and most impartial in the nation, and the Chamber has consistently ranked Iowa in the top five in the nation for the impartiality and fairness of our judicial system. Outside political groups are attempting to change the judicial environment in the state, by creating a system where judges issue rulings based upon popular opinion, rather than the rule of law. But Iowa’s Courts don’t operate like American Idol – nor should they. Their job is simply to interpret the law. Your job is to help keep politics out of our courts. Turn your ballet over and vote YES to retain Iowa’s judges.