The Iowa Court of Appeals has turned down an appeal that sought to throw out the ballots in the election where three Iowa Supreme Court justices were voted off the bench. Three attorneys filed the lawsuit saying the retention vote on the judges was not valid because the votes were on the same ballot as the elected officials in the general election in November of 2010.
They Iowa Constitution requires that the votes on judges be on separate ballots. The district court dismissed the lawsuit saying the three had “not established either a personal or legal interest” in the litigation or showed they had been injured by the use of the combined ballot. The lower court also said the ballot did not fall under an exemption where the court could rule it was illegal for the “greater public good.”
The appeals court upheld the lower court ruling, saying, the plaintiffs failed to present a case of sufficient public importance to justify overturning the use of the ballots. And it also said others such as judges or justices directly affected by judicial elections are better situated to bring a challenge.
The court’s chief justice, Rosemary Sackett issued a dissent in the case. Sackett said she could not agree with the other judges that an individual does not have a right to challenge the state’s alleged failure to construct a ballot in a manner so that it is constitutional.
And Sackett said “the right to vote and to have one’s vote counted is of a personal and legal interest to any citizen entitled to cast a ballot.”
See the complete ruling here: Ballots PDF