A fervent critic of the Iowa Supreme Court’s decision on gay marriage suggests the salaries of four of the justices on the court should be cut dramatically, but he tabled discussion of the proposal before a vote could be taken.
Representative Dwayne Alons spent about five minutes during House debate of the court’s overall budget explaining why the justices’ salaries of the justices should be cut.
“Put them on kind of equal footing with the legislature since they want to legislative from the bench,” Alons said.
The phrase “legislate from the bench” is often used by opponents of the court’s ruling which overturned a law legislators passed which had declared the only legally valid marriages in Iowa should be between a man and a woman. Alons suggested reducing the chief justice’s annual salary from nearly $170,850 down to $37, 500. That’s the salary the House Speaker earns.
The other three justices who joined the unanimous ruling on gay marriage are paid just over $163,200 annually. Alons suggested they should be paid $25,000 salaries — the same salary House members earn. That would be nearly seven times less than the current salaries for the justices. After his five-minute explanation, though, Alons tabled his proposal.
“Now, hopefully we will have other opportunity and other ideas to look at,” Alons said.
Three new Republican members of the Iowa House have been drafting articles of impeachment for the four Supreme Court justices, although the chairman of the House committee that would examine those articles of impeachment says there’s not enough support in the committee to move forward with impeachment.