Pella Chronicle

Local News

September 24, 2012

Bus tours offer different views on retention

Pella — Two buses rolled into Pella this morning, each with its own ideas regaring why voters should or should not vote to retain Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins in November. 

Wiggins is the only justice of the four remaining on the court who unanimously struck down Iowa's Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Three other justices who agreed with the decision were not retained in 2010. The other three who were on that court are not up for retention. Wiggins is joined on the ballot this year by three justices appointed by Gov. Terry Branstad in 2011. 

Rolling onto the Pella square first was the big, red "No Wiggins" bus, sponsored by Bob Vander Plaats and Rick Santorum's Patriot Voices organization. They spoke to a crowd between 40-50 people.

On the other side of the Tulip Toren was a group of Central College students, all of whom said they were Iowa natives. They believe same-sex marriage should be legal. As the "No Wiggins" speakers began to address their crowd, the protestors were joined by a smaller bus with representatives from the Iowa State Bar Association. The representatives of the Bar waited to speak until the Vander Plaats crew had finished.

Tamara Scott, Iowa's representative to the Republican National Committee, told the crowd that Wiggins received a 63 percent approval rating from his peers. She believes this is one reason why he should not be retained.

"This is not the 'B' team, this is the Iowa Supreme Court," Scott said. A report on the Iowa State Bar web page (http://www.iowabar.org/associations/4664/files/2012%20Judicial%20Review%20SC.pdf) confirms this about Wiggins. The other three justices up for retention received scores over 90 percent. 

Vander Plaats focused on Wiggins' vote in the case that ruled DOMA unconstitutional. He believes gay marriage violates natural law, thus violates American law.

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