DES MOINES—Iowa voters on Tuesday removed three state Supreme Court Justices who served on the court of seven justices whose unanimous decision last year found a law banning marriage for gay couples unconstitutional.
Under Iowa’s judicial retention system, judges face no opponents and must merely win more yes votes than no votes to earn an additional eight-year term. Chief Justice Marsha Ternus and justices David Baker and Michael Streit were the only members of the state’s highest court up for retention this year, and their removal marks the first time Iowa voters have ousted a Supreme Court justice since the system began in 1962.
National anti-gay groups, including the National Organization for Marriage and the American Family Association, spent a reported $1 million in Iowa campaigning to oust the pro-marriage equality justices.
A group of former governors, lawyers and judges said the justices’ removal would threaten Iowa’s independent judiciary, the Associated Press reported.