Same-sex marriage likely to be an issue in Judge Wiggins's 2012 retention election
Iowa: The Iowa Supreme Court decision (Varnum v. Brien, 2009) which upheld gay marriage in the state and led to the ousting of three state Supreme Court Justices when their time came for retention in 2010, may become an issue again in 2012. This time, the retention of Justice David Wiggins is at stake. Bob Vander Plaats, conservative activist and chief executive of The Family Leader, was the driving force behind the ouster of the three justices in 2010, claiming that the Supreme Court was overstepping its constitutional boundaries and should have left the gay marriage issue up to the Legislature and the people. "When people shut off the voice of the people … they need to be held accountable," he stated. Since Justice Wiggins was part of the unanimous Supreme Court decision, some suspect Vander Plaats and other conservatives to fight his upcoming retention election.
However, competition has arisen from two organizations: One Iowa, a gay rights advocacy organization, and Justice Not Politics. The 2010 election was the first time any state Supreme Court justice was not retained and these groups have teamed up to make sure retention elections remain at the status quo. Connie Ryan Terrell, board chairwoman of Justice Not Politics, stated, "“A retention vote is different from an election vote, and it’s our intention to educate the public. There was a lot of deliberate misinformation (about the courts) given by Bob Vander Plaats in 2010." Justice Wiggins, when questioned by The Iowa Independent, only said, "It’s to soon to know what’s going to happen."