In Iowa, indeed, throughout the US, most people would say that they don't want judges roiled in politics or suborned by money. Most people instinctively understand that our country's founders devised the judiciary as a check upon the monied interests and political elites; that judges would apply the law without favor to everyone coming before them, rich or poor, connected or not.
When Iowa went to the merit selection system of appointing judges, it did so to curtail the adverse affects of money and politics upon the judicial system. And since then, whether a Democrat or a Republican has been Governor, the system has worked as it should. Unlike attorneys of some other states, I can say that money doesn't buy favor in court for the wealthy and that political connections will not shield you from justice in Iowa. I might not agree with many or all of the decisions our courts have rendered, but I do know each judge does his or her best to apply the law to the facts before the court.
But now, with the only complaint being the Iowa Supreme Court's decision in one case, out-of-state money is coming in to apply political pressure on the Court and, ultimately, to bring money and pressure into the judicial system in Iowa for the future.
Whether a judge should be retained should not be decided by one's view of a single decision. It should be the result of a broad view of a judge's fulfillment of his or her duty in all the cases coming before the court, it should result from a judge's clear dereliction of duty or inability to serve.
I do not know of any serious reason not to retain any of the judges now on the ballot. And I do not want any outside Iowa money or political influences (or even money and influence within Iowa, for that matter) to taint what is our independent judiciary. I voted early and voted YES to retain the judges on my ballot. None of them - even if they have ruled against me and my clients in the past - has done so out of venality or for inappropriate reasons. I can question why a decision was made in a case, but not how - Iowa judges rule as best they can within the terms of their oath of office, to render justice impartially. I do not want to see our system become one where judges have to raise money and campaign for their retention because some case offended someone's views or financial interest.
Turn over the ballet when you vote and vote YES for our judges and our judicial system.