Intrpreting Existing State Law as Regards Same Sex Marriages
Iowa, a state that is quickly recognized by most people as one of the most conservative states in the union, but which surprised 2008 election pundits, and perhaps even the candidates themselves when Iowa's voters sealed Barak Obama's bid for the Democratic party nomination and then supported him in the subsequent presidential; has reminded us that their support of Obama might have been a young voter turnout, 60's nostalgia, or any other number of factors, but that the state remains a conservative stronghold. In last week's elections, Iowa, according to an article in USA Today (Friday, November 5, 8A), Iowa voters voted out three incumbent state Supreme Court justice for lending a liberal interpretation to Iowa's marriage law (8A). The justices, three of the state's seven; voted concurrence with their other four colleagues -- who were not up for re-election -- to invalidate the state's law limiting marriage a man and a woman (8A). In other words, Iowa's law, up to the point that it was invalidated, prevented same-sex couples from wedding in that state.
Just as Iowa is important to national elections, the voter's have now made it equally important to the extreme left-wing liberal contingent that might seize the opportunity to make Iowa its battleground in the war against limiting marriage to same-sex couples. Indeed, lines of defense and position are being taken already as the articles cites "Local and national interest groups opposing same-sex marriage spent about $800,000 urging the judges' ouster (8A)." This, even though judges at any level of state and federal governments are supposed to be A-political; that is, politically neutered in their interpretation of the law and its application. None of the justice can be found as having expressed their personal views on same-sex marriage, but only as having interpreted Iowa's marriage law.
Clearly, as human beings with a JD, these judges have personal ideas and thoughts on the subject of same-sex marriage. The article goes on to say:
"Had the justices ruled against same-sex marriage and been targeted by groups favoring the practice, the principle would be the same. In neither case should judges be vilified. Instead, unhappy voters should seek a constitutional amendment (8A)."
When the judges ruled to invalidate Iowa marriage law, ostensibly because it did not accommodate same-sex couples; they were making a political statement in kind in favor of same-sex marriage -- it was more than an interpretation of the law. And under no circumstances would pro-gay marriage groups have remained silent had these judges not found in their favor. The judges interpreted a law that was clearly designed to address a union between a man and woman; and they could not have been unaware that invalidating the law that pertained to only men and woman as individuals seeking marriage would draw fire from Iowa's moral majority and anti-gay-marriage factions. The article expresses concern for these judges that the writer maintains was merely interpreting the law -- without personal political belief or personal belief about same-sex marriage -- and that can be argued as to be the first failing of the author of the article -- any interpretation of a law and its perceived or conceived application is never sans personal beliefs as relates to that law. Like any lawmaker, these judges were looking to provide access to same-sex couples to wed -- and their interpretation was influenced by their individual beliefs -- especially given that…
Sources Used in Document:
Election Takeaways: From Iowa, a Chilling Message for Judges. USA Today, Friday,