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Open letter to readers: Today and tomorrow

By Lynda Waddington | 11.17.11

Wednesday was a difficult day for The American Independent News Network, which is the larger entity that operates The Iowa Independent. Our chief executive and founder announced two of our sister sites would close and their content would be moved to The American Independent.

ACS lockout continues; plan emerges to repeal sugar protections

By Virginia Chamlee | 11.15.11

A recently introduced bill could have far-reaching impact on the U.S. sugar industry, including American Crystal Sugar, a farmer-owned cooperative that locked out 1,300 Midwest workers on Aug. 1.

Cain campaign: Farmers know more about regulations than EPA

By Andrew Duffelmeyer | 11.15.11

The chairman for Herman Cain’s Iowa effort says the campaign “relied more on the word of farmers than Washington regulators” in deciding to run an ad containing claims the Environmental Protection Agency says are false.

Mathis wins, Democrats maintain Senate control

Liz Mathis
By Lynda Waddington | 11.08.11

The Iowa Senate will remain under the control of a slim 26-25 Democratic majority when it reconvenes in January 2012.

Press Release

PR: Nation should work to address veterans’ challenges

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

BRUCE BRALEY RELEASE — As US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan ends, it’s more important than ever that our nation works to address the challenges faced by the men and women who fought there.

PR: Honoring veterans, help in hiring

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

CHUCK GRASSLEY RELEASE — A difficult job market is challenging the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have protected America’s interests by serving in the Armed Forces.

PR: In honor of America’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

TOM LATHAM RELEASE — No one has done more to secure the freedom enjoyed by every single American than our veterans and those currently serving in the armed services.

PR: Honoring and supporting our nation’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

DAVE LOEBSACK RELEASE — Veterans Day is an opportunity to reflect on the service of generations of veterans and to honor the sacrifices they and their families have made so that we may live in peace and freedom here at home.

supreme court 500x171

Iowans vote to oust all three Supreme Court justices

By Jason Hancock | 11.02.10 | 11:45 pm

All three Iowa Supreme Court justices up for retention election have been ousted from the bench.

Around 54 percent of Iowans voted not to retain each of the three judges: Supreme Court Chief Justice Marsha Ternus and associate justices Michael J. Streit and David L. Baker. The campaign for the judges ouster was based on the court’s unanimous 2009 ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in Iowa.

There were 74 judges, including three Supreme Court justices, on the ballot Tuesday. Only the Supreme Court justices, however, came anywhere close to being removed from the bench.

The highly charged campaign featured more than $1 million in spending against the judges from national anti-gay organizations like the Mississippi-based American Family Association, Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council, Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund, Georgia-based Faith & Freedom Coalition and New Jersey-based National Organization for Marriage. The campaign culminated in a 20-city bus tour across Iowa.

The groups pushing for ouster promised that this was simply the first battle in a nationwide war against gay marriage and gay rights.

“If you rise up you will see states calling, other people from other states phoning and e-mailing and coming to find out how you did it because they too want to take their state back,” said Tamara Scott, of the Concerned Women of America’s Iowa chapter and a participant in the bus tour.

Despite the ouster of the judges, though, same-sex marriage continues to be legal in Iowa, and outgoing Democratic Gov. Chet Culver has the authority to appoint the judges’ successors.

Follow Jason Hancock on Twitter


  • Anonymous

    Iowa: your constitution and the US Constitution guarantee equal rights for all, regardless of how much you think certain folks shouldn’t have them. You’ve done nothing with this except oust three dedicated people who performed their jobs as required. This will change nothing that you want it to, because the law is above petty discrimination.

    • Anonymous

      dfflick, don’t tar all Iowans with this ugly vote. Look at the numbers: only 54% voted against the justices– in a Republican ‘wave’ year, after hate groups outspent groups supporting the justices by more than a three-to-one margin, and after the justices themselves declined to engage in any politicking on their own behalf.

      The ousters are purely a function of relative partisan election turnout. Republicans were engaged this year, in Iowa just like in the rest of the country, and Democrats weren’t. If turnout demographics had been the same as in the 2008 elections, the justices wouldn’t have lost. Blame this on Iowa Republicans, not on all Iowans.

      • Anonymous

        My comment was certainly directed at those who bought in to the hype and voted to remove the judges. The independent voters are just as much to blame as the GOP voters, though.

    • Alison Clark

      There are many in Iowa mourning today.

    • Christopher Forbes

      Unfortunately, there were at least 100,000 people who bothered to go vote, who skipped the Judicial Retention question.

  • K

    I have no strong opinion on gay marriage but those judges deserved to be ousted. The people should have a say in whether gay marriage is legalized in their state. Consent of the governed, and all.

    • Robert Galyean

      You obviously do have a very strong opinion of gay marriage since you feel like the judges deserve to be thrown out due to THIS ONE ISSUE. Since they all voted unanimously in favor of gay marriages, do you believe in ousting the other four judges? What if the next set of judges votes in favor of gay marriage? Oust them all too? What’s your logic? I don’t follow what you are trying to say K.

    • Anonymous

      You mean like how states used to pass Jim Crow laws against black people until the Civil Rights Act forced them to repeal those laws? Because if there hadn’t been legal intervention, there would’ve been no consent of the governed to give blacks equal rights.

      • Q

        What a dumb comment. Are you black? Being a race has nothing to do with sexual deviances and perverse sexual conduct. The African tribes sold their own people out to slavery, to many different countries. So don’t try to equate blacks with perverse sexual behavior. Next thing you know, you’ll start supporting pedophile marriages.

    • egc52556

      The governed gave their consent in the form of the Iowa Constitution. The judges — unanimously — ruled that this is what the people’s Constitution said.

  • Rain Mist

    K, gay marriage was never unconstitutional in Iowa; any law banning it was unconstitutional, and therefore struck down. Our beautifully simple constitution states: ‘All men and women are, by nature, free and equal, and have certain inalienable rights–among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness.’ And further: ‘All laws of a general nature shall have a uniform operation; the general assembly shall not grant to any citizen, or class of citizens, privileges or immunities, which, upon the same terms shall not equally belong to all citizens.’ Over 150 years ago, our state established that all are equal; it is not for a group of discontented or misled citizens to decide this doesn’t apply to some just because gay sex makes them uncomfortable.The only means to overturn this is via an amendment to the constitution. This would require a majority of the House, the Senate, and the people. I doubt very much that will happen. Hopefully our elected officials are less misguided and more aware of the long-term ramifications of depriving a sector of the population of their civil liberties at the whim of another sector. Oppression based on differences is how people end up in ghettoes, cattlecars, ovens, and mass graves.To dfflick: Please don’t tar us all with the same brush! Keep in mind, it was a bare majority, and that after a smear campaign funded by out-of-state interests with far more money than the local opposition. Many Iowans, myself included, are grief-stricken and outraged by this decision. To find that all our efforts at providing excellent public education have still yielded idiots who think that they’re protecting freedom by depriving others of equal treatment under the law…well, I guess we may as well pretend that creationism is a science. After all, we’re apparently buying into other crap being peddled by bottom-ranking states like Mississippi and Arizona.Our state motto used to be ‘Our liberties we prize, and our rights we will maintain’. Let’s hope we remember that we are founded on liberty, not bigotry, not fear, not sheep-like obedience to the zealot with the loudest voice and the most money.

  • Gaspar Oot

    Today, I’m as embarrassed to be an Iowan as I am to be an American. Hate wins in straight sets.

    • Q

      Oh goody! Does that mean you’re moving out? Maybe to the Gay Bay?


    gay marriage should be a STATES RIGHTS issue and not a left wing libtard activist judge issue. these imbeciles are good to be ousted. Democrats love to IMPOSE their amoral code and left wing socialism on others and ram it down the throats of others. that is why they got their ASSES kicked tonight.

    • Anonymous

      The government isn’t the keeper of our morals, it’s the keeper of the constitution. The justices accurately interpreted the constitution. Now the moralizers need to amend the constitution. Then justice will be effectively thwarted.

    • Anonymous

      Moron says what? You’ve won NOTHING. Please do yourself a favor – and takes a CIVICS course…and LEARN about the 3 Branches of Gov’t (you obviously were NOT paying attention in school) …and also…Learn what the word Socialism means…..another thing you didn’t pay attention too. ..and whats with your fantasy about ramming things down throats?

    • Anonymous

      Civil rights should never be left in the hands of the mob. If they were, blacks would still be second-class citizens. Would you be okay with that? Actually, don’t answer. I’m afraid to hear what you’d say.

    • Alison Clark

      Did you read the judge’s opinion? It was amazingly impartial and intelligent. More than I can say for your own comment.

      • Q

        Incorrect. It was not impartial at all, read it again and separate the facts from opinions.

    • Anonymous

      Of course, of course. 55%-45% is an a**-kicking. There’s always some sort of “mandate” or “overwhelming message” when the GOP takes more votes than the Democrats. But, you’re WRONG. States don’t get the right to choose who gets rights…there is a supremacy clause in the Constitution.

      Here’s a tidbit for you: we gave you just enough rope to hang yourselves. The GOP is going to have to do more to fix our nation’s problems than spew false partisan rhetoric, say ‘no’, and point fingers.

    • Christopher Forbes

      In this case, it was and is a state’s rights issue, even with Federal Constitutional supremacy.

      It was decided in the state Supreme Court, based on an accurate reading of the state Constitution.

      Our Liberties We Prize, And Our Rights We Will Subject To Majority Vote.

      • Q

        Idiot. There was no ACCURATE reading of anything, it was a liberal translation, using liberal ideology.

  • Anonymous

    well the judges may be out…but MArriage Equality REMAINS! (as it should) ..and it isn’t going anywhere… all you succeeded in doing was making Iowa Look like a State of Nitwits/and uneducated bumpkins (not all) who have NO CLUE as to CIVICS and the 3 Branches of Gov’t..

  • Anonymous


    Congratulations to the people of Iowa for getting rid of these loonies. “Gay marriage” is not marriage. Do they not require knowledge of English before they appoint somebody as a Judge? If gays living together is “marriage”, then donkeys in a barn are also marriage. These judges were so intoxicated with power that they lost their common sense. THEY were the ones who were political and wanted to placate the liberal establishment. They were intellectually corrupt and dishonest to allow the bizarre notion of “gay marriage.” The general public has more common sense and it showed.

    We are proud of the common-sense of the Iowans. It is time to undo the damage done by these nutcases in robes.

    • Rain Mist

      Um, ‘marriage’ can mean a lot of things, and even Webster’s has gotten with the time. But it if hadn’t…sorry, constitutionally required equal rights under the law trumps a book of interpretations of language.

    • Christopher Forbes

      Just to be clear, you are questioning the mental health and acuity of three Iowa Supreme Court Justices, and based upon your reasons, the other four remaining justices and the Governors from both parties who appointed them, and the Iowa Senate which confirmed each, for following the letter of the law, and deciding a single case upon it’s merits, when the respondent in the case was unable to muster any legal standing without making wholly fabricated extraconstitutional appeals which have no place in the court.

      All while making baseless and easily refutable assumptions on their political leanings, which are irrelevant to court decisions, and are in no way confirmed to align with the decision itself.

      Good Luck with that.

  • Anonymous


    There are many liberals who are trying to argue in support of “gay marriage” claiming that it is protected under the constitution under the “equal rights” clause.

    Most of these making such proclamations have no idea of the law and do not understand the “Equal Rights” clause.

    If “equal rights” is to be taken literally and if it means therefore that gays can also “marry” each other because a man can marry a woman, then why can’t a man marry his sister or his mother or his own child? And why not his dog or his cat? They have “equal rights” too.

    The liberals cannot answer that question.

    “Equal rights” means that the govt. cannot discriminate against one compared to another SIMILARLY SITUATED according to a list of criteria. The list of criteria the govt. can use can be quite long.

    The criteria for marriage is that it is between an adult man and an adult woman. Homosexual adult men are not denied the right to marry an adult woman. So they do have equal rights.

    Case closed.

    • Anonymous

      You know, I’m getting sick of answering that question. But I will anyway, just for you. You can’t marry children or animals because it’s not ethical to create a legally binding agreement with anyone who cannot give consent. As to incest: an incestuous marriage, if it resulted in children, would result in children with dire genetic problems, which would be irresponsible to foist on society.

      With gay marriage, there are no genetic children between the parents, and as long as both are adults, it’s a consentual relationship. What is the danger to anyone if two adults willfully take themselves out of the gene pool like this? (Hint: there is none.)

      Case closed.

      • Alison Clark

        Thanks for taking the time.

      • Q

        LOL That’s a stupid answer. What about polygamy? There are genetic problems with the gays who want to marry each other! It’s not ethical to create….? It’s not ethical for people of the same sex to have sex either.

    • Anonymous

      It would appear that you are the one who appears to not understand the law you are throwing around. There is no equal rights clause in either the Iowa or the Federal constitution. There are, however, equal protection clauses in both documents. The difference between equal rights and equal protection is what is most important here…

      The intent of the constitution, both of them, to provide equal rights to all citizens is shown in the wording of the equal protection clause. This is straight from the Iowa constitution —

      Article 1, Section 6 — All laws of a general nature shall have a uniform operation; the general assembly shall not grant to any citizen or class of citizens, privileges or immunities, which, upon the same terms shall not equally belong to all citizens.

      As far as your statement about equal rights meaning the government can’t discriminate again one class established by law over another similarly situated class, you’re wrong again. The idea of the similarly situated class is a standard of judicial scrutiny applied to arguments against the application of equal protection to a class created by an act of law.

      In other words it means that the state has to prove that the class (gay people) are not entitled to equal protection because of a legitimate purposes of the law… You can’t just pick out a certain group and decide to exclude them from the party because you don’t like them… This is the same reason mothers make kids invite the unpopular kid to the birthday party… it’s rude to single someone out because you don’t like them.

      I hope that this makes these rather difficult concepts a little easier for you to understand. I wouldn’t want you making proclamations about the law when you don’t understand what you are proclaiming about.

      • Eric Welch

        Nicely put. The irony is that those who voted to oust these judges have removed judges appointed by a Republican governor and now those empty spots may be filled by a lame-duck Democrat. Very, very poor planning, if you ask me, but typical.

        • Anonymous

          The irony is something that amazes me, but the most obviously frightening part is the total lack of understanding the functions of each branch of our government and how they check and balance each other.

          We’ve become a society suffering from ADD, and whoever has the most memorable and scary sound byte earns the trust of the voters.

  • X

    Well, at least Iowa remembered to take the leash off the Constitution before they shot it.

  • Aunt Hagatha

    Shame on the 54% who voted to oust the justices! They did their job—interpreting the constitution, just like the judicial branch is supposed to do (take a basic high school civics class if you forgot)—and you got them fired? And before any of you bluster on about the justices not understanding the law or calling them imbeciles or questioning their common sense compared to the Iowa electorate, consider how your years of legal experience compare with theirs. Do you really think your inflamed opinions grant you greater knowledge of the law than those who practice and interpret it for a living?

    • Q

      Hagatha, you really have no clue. Here’s the issue: “The politicization of the process may not only deter judges from acting independently”…Unfortunately, the justices DID NOT act independently, but instead used their liberal leanings and beliefs to vote in favor of gay marriage.

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