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Former Gov. Ray joins effort to retain Iowa judges
Former Republican Gov. Robert Ray, former Lt. Gov. Art Neu and a bipartisan group of influential Iowans have formed a new organization to campaign in favor of retaining three Iowa Supreme Court justices.
The group, Fair Courts for US, has already filed disclosure reports with the state showing it will spend $32,500 on direct mail pieces in support of the three judges. Ray, who served as governor from 1969 to 1983, said in a statement that efforts to oust the judges go against Iowa’s desire to remove politics from the judiciary.
“Iowans fought hard five decades ago to take politics out of the judiciary,” Ray said. “As a result, the Iowa Supreme Court has issued countless rulings that protect Iowans with regard to a host of important issues such as individual property rights and keeping convicted sex offenders away from our children.”
Former GOP gubernatorial hopeful Bob Vander Plaats has organized a campaign to oust Chief Justice Marsha Ternus and Justices Michael Streit and David Baker from the bench over the court’s 2009 ruling that legalized same-sex marriage. The campaign, called Iowa for Freedom, is solely funded by the Mississippi-based American Family Association.
Neu called Iowa’s retention system one of the best in the nation, saying, “to change it simply because some are unhappy about one decision would be foolish.”