Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Iowa House Republicans Want to Reduce Supreme Court Justices' Salaries by 85% Over "Varnum" Gay Marriage Ruling

It has been four years since gay and lesbian couples began marrying here in Iowa. Unfortunately, some people cannot let go or move on. A group of House Republicans have attached an amendment to Senate File 442, the judicial branch budget bill, that would lower the salaries of the four Supreme Court Justices that upheld the Varnum v. Brien case, which struck down the state's DOMA law as being unconstitutional. The justices' full-time salaries ($163,200 as of January 2010 for most justices, $170,850 for the Chief Justice) would be reduced to $25,000 -- the same as a part-time state legislator:
“It’s our responsibility to maintain the balance of power” between the three co-equal branches of government, Rep. Tom Shaw, R-Laurens, said Tuesday.

The justices “trashed the separation of powers” with their unanimous Varnum v. Brien decision and implementation of same-sex marriage without a change in state law banning any marriages expect between one man and one woman, added Rep. Dwayne Alons, R-Hull...

It’s not meant to be punitive, Alons and Shaw said April 23.

“We’re just holding them responsible for their decision, for going beyond their bounds,” Shaw said.

“It’s not the merits of what they said in that decision,” added Alons. He’s trying to stop “an encroaching wave” of judicial activity including decisions on nude dancing and landowner liability – decisions the Legislature also is trying to correct through legislation this session.
This nearly 83% wage reduction would only affect four of the current Iowa Supreme Court Justices. The other three justices currently serving on the Iowa Supreme Court came on after social conservatives successfully led the charge to oust Justices Ternus, Baker, and Streit.

No comments: