The brother of one of the three new Iowa Supreme Court justices slammed the vote that threw three judges off the bench last year, and issued a warning for the court. Robert Waterman is the president-elect of the Iowa State Bar Association and brother of new justice Thomas Waterman.
Robert Waterman of Pleasant Valley, spoke about the controversial gay marriage ruling prior to remarks at the installation of his brother onto the court.
“The world outside the courtroom is in a state of rapid change, like no other time,” Waterman said, “historically Iowa’s courts consistently ranked among the top five in the country for fairness, impartiality and the quality of their decisions. Yet in 2010 our third branch of the government came under attack because of how our highest court decided one case.”
Waterman warned the “threat” to the court system is not over. He says much of the momentum and financing for the “ultimate and unprecedented removal of three justices came from out-of-state interest groups.” Waterman says with the Iowa Caucuses coming up and the elections of 2012, “it appears likely that the threats to our judiciary will continue.”
Waterman said the court will have to be strong in facing the next challenge. “It will take the collective strength and wisdom of our Supreme Court to remain courageous and steadfast in deciding cases not he rule of law, not fleeting public opinion and outside influences,” Waterman said, “Only with such courage and determination can our courts remain truly fair and impartial.”
Waterman’s comments were the only direct reference made to the gay marriage ruling and the resulting dismissal of three justices. His brother was installed on the Iowa Supreme Court along with Edward Mansfield and Bruce Zager.