Talk about petty. Five Republican lawmakers want to slash the salaries and compensation for the four remaining Iowa Supreme Court justices who ruled in favor of same-sex marriage. The five Republicans introduced the amendment to existing law to the House Judiciary Branch Budget Committee.
The cut in pay for just the four judges would mean a drop from $163,000 to $25,000.
The court’s unanimous decision in Varnum v. Brein sparked outrage from social conservatives. They mounted a successful campaign in 2010 to oust three of the judges, but have failed to oust any of the others.
Iowa State Representative Tom Shaw cosponsored the measure, and claims that it seeks to “maintain the balance of power” between the three branches. Of course, what he wants is to terrorize the justices into not ruling against the will of the anti-gay groups.
Shaw has gone on the record saying “We’re just holding them responsible for their decision, for going beyond their bounds.”
Representative Larry Sheets also stated that the justices had “overstepped their constitutional boundaries,” and claims that, if the justices were going to legislate from the bench, then they should have the same pay as legislators.
Never mind the fact that legislators maintain their own day-to-day jobs while judges and justices rely only on the income that they get from their government jobs.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Rob Hogg said “how ridiculous can you get?” He also noted that this bill would be overturned by the courts.
Constitutionally speaking, the justices did not engage in legislating from the bench; however, it is a common view from the Republicans that this is what judges do because they are charged with upholding the law and reconciling laws passed by the legislature with existing state laws, Federal laws, and both the State and National Constitutions.