The leader of the campaign that successfully led to the ouster of three Iowa Supreme Court justices says he is pleased with Governor-elect Terry Branstad’s view on replacing those judges.
Bob Vander Plaats is now the C.E.O. of a group called “The FAMiLY Leader.” Branstad said Monday that he would ask new justices about their judicial philosophy and would choose justices who would stay within the constitutional limits on judges.
“We officially applaud him for his clear, constitutional stance yesterday as it relates to the separation of powers,” Vander Plaats said this afternoon during a news conference. “As a matter of fact, I believe his words were, ‘the genius of the founding fathers’ as it relates to the separation of powers.”
Vander Plaats also said Branstad was right in saying the Supreme Court ruling that made gay marriage legal in Iowa was wrong. In light of what Branstad stated this week, Vander Plaats renewed his call for the remaining four justices to resign.
“We believe in the intent of Governor Branstad’s statement that if the other three who are applying only those who are being considered have to disagree with that ruling, then it would be disingenuous for those four to remain on the court at this time,” Vander Plaats said.
According to Vander Plaats, the remaining four justices can step down in a way that would not disrupt the court and keep it from having a quorum. Vander Plaats said while the judicial nominating commission remains unbalanced with 12 Democrats and one Republican, it will take awhile to change the commission makeup, and the current justices should not wait for that process before resigning.