Two judge retention rallies in Waterloo - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Two judge retention rallies in Waterloo


WATERLOO (KWWL) -- Two rallies were held in Lincoln Park in Waterloo Wednesday, each centering around the Judge Retention Vote.

The item normally doesn't get too much attention - but this election year it's a hotly contested issue because of the Iowa Supreme Court's decision to allow same-sex marriage in Iowa.

In the history of the retention vote, no Iowa Supreme Court Justice has ever been voted out of his or her position.

But this year, three could be ousted: Chief Justice Marsha Ternus and Justices Michael Streit and David Baker.

The first rally kicked off around 9:30 a.m. when the "Judge Bus" arrived in Waterloo.

The bus and U.S. Representative Steve King are traveling Iowa asking people to vote "no" to retaining Ternus, Baker and Streit.

The second rally, for The Homegrown Justice Tour, began around 10 a.m. encouraging people to vote "yes."

Representative King said when the Iowa Supreme Court ruled to allow same-sex marriages, the court amended the constitution instead of upholding it.

"I believe it is a lawless decision. I believe in effect it has amended the constitution of Iowa, and I believe these judges are the last seven people on the planet altogether who should be amending Iowa's constitution," said Rep. Steve King.

He said the only choice is to vote them off the bench.

But State Senator Bill Dotzler from Waterloo spoke at another rally encouraging people to vote "yes" to retain the judges.

He said the ruling is fair because the constitution protects against discrimination.

"Iowa has a history of standing up for civil rights. I think this is a landmark decision that 20 years from now Iowans are going to be proud that we stood up for rights in our country and civil rights," said State Senator Bill Dotzler.

Back on the "no" side, Tom Lorenz brought his whole family to the rally.

He said a few judges shouldn't have so much power.

"Our constitution is what protects us from an oligarchy and that is not what we are. We are a republic and the oligarchy is overruling what the will of the people is and that's wrong," said Tom Lorenz.

But Stephanie Schwinn believes the judges correctly interpreted the constitution.

"This is an issue of equal treatment under law, and the Iowa constitution is clear that you can't discriminate against people. So their ruling is sound and solid and should be upheld," said Schwinn.

The argument got heated a few times, but in the end, each side just wants people to head to the polls Tuesday and remember to turn your ballot over to vote "yes" or "no."

Online Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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