Iowa voters have overwhelmingly decided three Iowa Supreme Court justices may remain on the bench.
Iowa judges are listed on the ballot in what are called “retention” elections once every eight years. In 2010, Iowa voters kicked three justices off the state supreme court. It was the backlash against the court’s 2009 ruling which legalized same-sex marriage in Iowa.
Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Mike Cady is the person who wrote that 2009 ruling. Cady stood for retention this year and he won. Two other justices who were part of the court’s unanimous ruling in that same-sex marriage case also won their retention votes on Tuesday. All three got at last 64 percent of the vote.
The 2010 judicial retention election was high-profile, with opponents of the court’s same-sex marriage ruling spending thousands on a “vote no” campaign. There was little activity in this year’s judicial contests. A group called “Justice Not Politics” issued a statement early this morning. Connie Ryan, the group’s chair, says Iowans are proud of the state’s “fair and impartial courts” and the retention of the three justices is a hopeful sign politics won’t be “injected” into future retention elections.