Gov.-elect Terry Branstad (R-IA), who will be leading the critical first presidential caucus state, is not commenting on the hot-button issue of whether the state Supreme Court justices who legalized same sex marriage in his state should be impeached — after he’d previously urged the legislature in strong terms to pass a constitutional amendment undoing the decision.
This past November, Iowa voters removed three state Supreme Court justices who had faced up-or-down retention elections, and who were heavily targeted by conservatives for their role in the unanimous 2009 ruling that legalized same marriage in the state. Now, as we’ve reported, some of the incoming Republican legislators would like to impeach the remaining four justices.
And for his part, Branstad isn’t commenting:
“This is a separate branch of government and I’ve got enough on my plate not to get into that one,” Branstad says. “So I don’t intend to comment on it.”
Previously, Branstad had called upon the legislature to vote on a constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage, which if passed in the legislature would then go to the voters. However, the Democrats have retained a narrow majority in the state Senate, and the majority leader has said he would not hold the vote.
Of that topic, Branstad has said:
“Just because you’re a leader in the Legislature doesn’t mean you’re a dictator where you have the right to make a unilateral decision, I think, on an issue of this importance and magnitude,” Branstad said. “Certainly the senators should be given an opportunity to vote on this.”