Anti-gay activist Bob Vander Plaats, who was labeled the Iowa GOP’s “kingmaker” after Republican presidential candidates lined up to pay homage to him, was the architect of the successful effort to oust three Iowa Supreme Court justices, and he’s now spearheading a new effort to remove a fourth justice. All four of the justices Vander Plaats opposes joined the state supreme court’s unanimous opinion recognizing that the Iowa Constitution does not permit marriage discrimination against gay couples.
At a rally last month, Vander Plaats explained why he is so offended by the targeted justices’ application of the state constitution. And then he compared marriage equality to slavery:
We must get back to the constitution… . It is the court that should be independent — free of politics — to uphold the constitution, not to trample on the constitution, not to insert politics in the constitution, and not to run the leftist agenda through the court system. That’s not their role.
The Iowa State Bar Association, they’ll tell you — they’ll say “Bob, this is only one opinion. It’s only one opinion. You can’t be that upset at a court because of one opinion.” One opinion: Dred Scott — blacks are property. One opinion: Roe v. Wade — we’ve killed sixty million babies off a court’s opinion. One opinion, the Varnum opinion and you are now seeing same-sex marriage infiltrate this state. One opinion, where a court legislates from the bench, when a court executes from the bench, when a court tries to amend the constitution from the bench, and when a court tries to do that, it is our responsibility as the people — the final arbitrators — to kick them off the bench.
So when Vander Plaats tries to take revenge against these justices by tossing them out of office, he is the one who injecting politics into the constitution and he is the one who is trying to run his agenda through the court system. Vander Plaats’ campaign is nothing less than an effort to make judges too scared to follow the law when the law conflicts with conservative views.