Iowa Retains Judge Who Joined Marriage Equality Ruling

Justice David Wiggins, who joined the unanimous marriage equality ruling in 2009, survived a campaign to recall him.

BY Julie Bolcer

November 07 2012 10:46 AM ET

Justice David Wiggins

Iowa voters retained Justice David Wiggins despite a campaign from marriage equality opponents to recall the state Supreme Court judge.


Wiggins needed a majority of votes to maintain his post, and with 83% of precincts reporting, he had 54% of the vote, according to the Des Moines Register.

Opponents of marriage equality including Bob Vander Plaats, the leader of the Iowans For Freedom committee, had vowed to remove Wiggins because he joined six other justices in the unanimous ruling for same-sex marriage in 2009. Their efforts, including a bus tour, attracted support from prominent national Republicans including former presidential candidate Rick Santorum.

Three judges were recalled in 2010 after the National Organization for Marriage and other groups waged a campaign against them. The final three judges who joined the ruling will face a retention vote in 2016.

One Iowa, the LGBT equality group that worked to retain Wiggins, issued a statement on the vote Tuesday.

“Tonight, Justice Wiggins withstood the attacks by anti-equality forces in this state and was retained by the voters,” said executive director Donna Red Wing. “With the retention of Justice Wiggins, we sent a strong message to Mr. Vander Plaats and his friends at the National Organization for Marriage: Iowans are proud of our state that values equal protection and all families.”

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