Plan in Iowa to Impeach Judges Is Dangerous

Op-ed: Activists angry over same-sex ruling are going too far
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 7, 2011 1:24 PM CST
In this Oct. 25 file photo, a man holds a sign during a rally in Iowa to remove three judges who sanctioned same-sex marriage.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

(Newser) – Throughout US history, “no matter how controversial the case, no state or federal judge has been impeached for an opinion issued from the bench,” writes Bert Brandenburg in the Washington Post. But now, activists in Iowa want to impeach the justices who voted to allow same-sex marriage in the state—and the campaign has dangerous implications for the country.

The activists’ battle amounts to “an assault on constitutional government,” writes Brandenburg. “Impeaching judges to redress political grievances would trigger a political circus that would paralyze government and undermine courts.” It would “spread the word that judges shouldn't follow the law but rather opinion polls and party bosses.” No one’s tried such a move since Thomas Jefferson—and his effort failed. Impeachment should be reserved for “serious misconduct,” like “committing a crime,” not taking a stance.

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