Competing Bus Tours Over Iowa Supreme Court Justice - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Competing Bus Tours Over Iowa Supreme Court Justice

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It's something that's often ignored on the ballot, but not this year. Two groups are campaigning across Iowa, setting up battle lines over the retention of an Iowa Supreme Court judge.

"In 2010, they laughed at us and said, 'you can't vote out three judges,'" announced Bob Vander Plaats. The former Iowa gubernatorial candidate heads the group, Iowans for Freedom, which is fighting to boot out another high court judge, David Wiggins. Vander Plaats made his case during a stop at the Living Waters Church in Davenport Tuesday morning. In the backdrop, was a bus with huge letters that read, "No Wiggins".

The issue stems from the state supreme court ruling that allowed gay marriage in Iowa. In the last election, voters opposed to the ruling turned down the retention of three judges on the high court. Now, opponents are going after Justice Wiggins, who is up for retention this November.

Other stops on the bus tour will include former presidential candidate Rick Santorum and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. According a news release the tour is sponsored by several groups including Citizen Link, The Family Leader, Patriot Voices, National Organization for Marriage and Catholic Voter.org.

"But it's not Iowans for Freedom. It's special interest groups and special interest money traveling in busses from out-of-state," said Christine Branstad. The niece of Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Des Moines area lawyer is part of a counter-bus tour that made a stop at the Scott County Courthouse in Davenport, also Tuesday morning.

Her tour is sponsored by the Iowa Bar Association, which claims the battle is not being fought by Iowans but by outsiders. The lawyers are seeking to educate voters on the judicial process. They say judges have no power to form law--that's left up to the legislature. They also argue that the Iowa Supreme Court justices had to uphold the constitution based on the merits of the gay marriage case that was put before them.

Both tours will be traveling across the state of Iowa.

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