Three newly-elected state representatives are drafting legislation which they hope will lead to impeaching the four remaining Iowa Supreme Court Justices who struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.
The three other justices who joined in the unanimous opinion were voted off the court in this year’s retention election. Republicans Tom Shaw of Laurens, Glen Massie of Des Moines and Kim Pearson of Pleasant Hill are drafting articles of impeachment to try to remove the other four Supreme Court justices.
“The people are the only ones that have done their constitutional duty,” Shaw says.
“They used the only tool that they had available to them and that was to vote ‘no’ on retention on three of them and I just believe it is up to us, or up to me as a legislator and as a representative, to stand by the oath of office to protect the constitution and carry out the will of the people.”
Shaw says in his district, Iowans voted more than two-to-one to remove the three justices who were up for retention last month.
“And so the topic of impeachment came up as I was out campaigning,” Shaw says. “Voters were disappointed that the other four were going to be remaining on and they would bring up the subject of impeachment.”
Under the Iowa Constitution a justice can be impeached for any misdemeanor or malfeasance in office. Impeaching a justice requires a vote in the House, a trial in the senate and then two-thirds of the state senators would have to agree in order to impeach the justice.
The Senate’s Democratic leader says if Republicans have discovered the justices have committed malfeasance or a misdemeanor, then “bring the evidence forth.” Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal says in the meantime, he and “every other Senate Democrat will stay focused on creating jobs and improving Iowa’s economy.”
A spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa calls the Republicans’ push for impeachment “truly shocking.”