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Ternus: How would you feel, as a litigant, to appear in court and know that the opposing party's attorney gave money to the judge's re election campaign and your attorney didn't? Is that the kind of system Iowans want
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Before the arguments
Streit: In all our cases . we discuss the case after it's argued. So we go back into chambers and we Giuseppe Zanotti For Balmain 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.'
Marsha Ternus, former chief justice: We were aware of what the popular opinion was about same sex marriage in Iowa, and in fact there had been demonstrations outside the judicial branch building prior to the oral arguments Giuseppe Zanotti Mens White
Carlos Ball, law professor, Rutgers School of Law: The previous rulings by state supreme courts that sided with gay plaintiffs were highly fractured. In contrast, the Iowa Supreme Court, through Justice Cady's opinion in Varnum, spoke in one clear voice. The fact that not one justice sided with the government said a lot about the weakness of the government's case.
David Baker, former justice: I knew the case was Jimmy Choo Trainers Sale Uk
One letter sent to the court five days after the decision: "I defended the likes of you as an American soldier in WWII and Korea. I conclude I served the wrong side Jimmy Choo Trainers Ebay
Baker: I was very happy to see people stepping up (in 2012), not so much for Justice Wiggins as an individual, but for the process, and for the need for fair and impartial courts. But speaking up and mounting a several hundred thousand or million dollar campaign are different things.
Ouster, Nov. 2, 2010
Brown: Obviously resources are limited. We're looking at where we can have the most effect in protecting marriage. If you have millions of dollars to spend in one of these races, it does have an effect.
in the case.
Michael Streit, former justice: The argument day itself was a big deal. The courtroom was full, and the theater down on the first floor was full. It was emotional. An hour is what it was set for, and it went longer than that. 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?
Carlos Moreno, former California Supreme Court justice, began his dissent in Strauss v. Horton, the case in 2009 that upheld Proposition 8, by quoting Varnum. It's one of the first times another court refers to the Iowa case: "The 'absolute equality of all' persons before the law (is) 'the very foundation principle of our government.'"
Hitler treated Queers the way that they should be treated in the gas chambers! You are bastards."
Suzanne Goldberg, director, Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at Columbia University Law School: My sense is that the targeting and ouster of judges who ruled in favor of marriage equality was a serious, and perhaps embarrassing, loss for Iowa. Outside the state, the recall effort reinforced marriage equality advocates' commitment to justice, even knowing that justice sometimes comes at a high cost.
Streit: I made speeches to LGBT crowds and said, 'We weren't on your side. We were in favor of equal protection.' But with all the hate that I've seen since then come out, it's hard not to be on their side. But I'm not a judge anymore either, so I don't have to be above the fray.
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Arguments, Dec. 9, 2008
Baker: 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.
coming at the time I got appointed. Everybody knew it was out there. . We all had these three ring binders that were 6 inches thick. It was like 5,000 pages of things we had to read, review and prepare for. I remember sitting at my daughter's swim meets in college with the binder.
Decision: April 3, 2009
Ternus: A lot of money came in from these out of state organizations who opposed same sex marriage, and they formed a local program called Iowa for Freedom. That program's mission, and this is from their website, was to send a message in Iowa and across the country that judges ignore the will of the people at their peril. So the focus was really on retribution against us for having ruled the way we did and to intimidate judges across the country. It struck a chord in voters who I think are inclined to have fears and to doubt government.
Mark Kende, constitutional law professor, Drake University Law School: It's one of the most impressive opinions I've read in Iowa certainly and even broader than that. It was written in a way that was designed to make the arguments clear but to also show some sympathy to those that don't agree and say why.
Brian Brown, president, National Organization for Marriage: The fact that three judges lost their seats, that was an important part of the story. I do think people realized that if you had judicial retention elections, that people could stand up and say enough is enough and that is what they did. Unfortunately with federal judges, we don't have judicial retention elections.
Baker: This was not Brown v. Board of Education where Earl Warren had to basically brow beat some of the southern justices in order to have a unanimous decision. This truly was a unanimous decision.
Ball: Those who have defended same sex marriage bans in courts throughout the country since Varnum have had a very difficult time persuading judges that the government has a legitimate reason for denying gay men and lesbians the opportunity to marry the individuals of their choice. This time period is what ultimately gives shape to tomorrow's understanding, and can help differences of opinion to merge. This discourse is not new for Iowa, although I doubt it has ever been so strong.
Baker: Under the rules governing judges, we have the ability when we know there is organized opposition to organize and finance campaign committees. But the three of us, we talked and we met and we decided as a group we were not going to do that. Because to do so would have been for us to buy in to politicizing judicial elections.
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