400 Plus Tea Party Patriots From Iowa Rally Behind Grassley

Grassley listens to a question during the 2009 Reuters Washington Summit in WashingtonWhile some Republicans in the U.S Senate have softened their positions on whether or not hearing on President Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court should be held, Senator Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the influential Senate Judiciary Committee, has stood firm on his position not to hold hearings.

Now over 400 grassroots activists from Iowa have signed on to a pledge supporting Grassley’s position. Below is a letter being circulated by Tea Party Patriots thanking Grassley for recognizing that the Supreme Court will function perfectly fine with eight justices over the next ten months. The letter also encourages him to do everything in his power as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee to block President Obama from putting one more Justice on the Supreme Court.

“Americans are looking forward to being part of this process and having our voices be heard in the November election before Justice Scalia’s replacement is confirmed,” the letter reads.



The Honorable Chuck Grassley
135 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

March 23, 2016

Dear Chairman Grassley,

I am writing to thank you for your commitment to upholding the Constitution and standing firm in opposing a confirmation hearing for any Supreme Court nominee President Obama makes during this lame duck period.

The Democrats often remind us that elections have consequences. Indeed, elections certainly do have consequences, but the Democrats would prefer to forget that the 2014 elections ever took place. Americans gave the Republicans the majority in the Senate, in large part because we wanted to make sure that President Obama’s reckless agenda would not be rubber-stamped during his last two years in office. Part of President Obama’s agenda now includes making his third appointment to the Supreme Court, but there simply is no reason to rush this process.

President Obama, Sen. Chuck Schumer, and others on the political Left are rushing to put another liberal Justice on the Court, and it’s easy to understand why. Replacing Justice Scalia, the Court’s most thoughtful originalist, with a progressive, “results-oriented” Justice would dramatically change the make-up of the Court, and would immediately change the outcome of several major upcoming decisions.

Thank you for recognizing that the Supreme Court will function perfectly fine with eight justices over the next ten months. Please do everything within your power as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee to block President Obama from putting one more Justice on the Supreme Court. Americans are looking forward to being part of this process and having our voices be heard in the November election before Justice Scalia’s replacement is confirmed.


Joe Villirillo, Adel, IA
Louise Bernhardt, Akron, IA
garry klemme, Akron, IA
Kay Quirk, Alta, IA
Lyndal Bahney, Altoona, IA
John Cosner, Altoona, IA
Robert Pence, Altoona, IA
Charles Ainsworth, Amana, IA
Bill Leibold, Ames, IA
Michael Means, Ames, IA
Bruce Niehm, Ames, IA
Jerold Peterson, Ames, IA
David Rood, Ames, IA
monte toresdahl, Ames, IA
Ramona Wierson, Ames, IA
michael davies, Anamosa, IA
Dwight Axtell, Ankeny, IA
Keith Carlson, Ankeny, IA
Ksenia Gardino, Ankeny, IA
Pamela Havnen, Ankeny, IA
Phil Rekemeyer, Ankeny, IA
Martin Vogel, Ankeny, IA
Bill Mullin, Arnolds Park, IA
Keith Witzke, Arthur, IA
Kris Ennis, Asbury, IA
Carol Schmidt, Asbury, IA
Gene Hammons, Atalissa, IA
Max Argo, Atlantic, IA
Julie Pohlsander, Audubon, IA
Lotus Paulsen, Avoca, IA
steven johanson, Badger, IA
Melissa Banian, Bettendorf, IA
Larry Nissen, Bettendorf, IA
Ann Quist, Bettendorf, IA
Donald Keith Twite, Bettendorf, IA
Pamela Blackman, Blanchard, IA
Nell Moore, Bloomfield, IA
fred hawley, Blue Grass, IA
DENNIS Price, Blue Grass, IA
Steven Coe, Boone, IA
Pat Hastie, Boone, IA
Sandy Monen, Boone, IA
carol wiltsey, Boone, IA
Mary Wise, Boone, IA
Boyd Bonnett, Brooklyn, IA
Melinda Holder, Brooklyn, IA
Gary L Carlson, Buffalo Center, IA
Janice Kiewiet, Buffalo Center, IA
Dean Connelly, Burlington, IA
Todd Darnall, Burlington, IA
Carl J Lensgraf, Burlington, IA
Gary L Zachmeyer, Burlington, IA
Barbara Himes, Bussey, IA
Joseph Loesch, Calmar, IA
Ken Meiners, Carroll, IA
steve riley, Carroll, IA
Ash Kading, Casey, IA
Jim Burford, Cedar Falls, IA
Keith Coppage, Cedar Falls, IA
Eric Lawson, Cedar Falls, IA
Ralph Mentzer, Cedar Falls, IA
Eugene Schwickerath, Cedar Falls, IA
David Williams, Cedar Falls, IA
Ray And Linda Agrimson, Cedar Rapids, IA
Carl Clore, Cedar Rapids, IA
sheryl combs, Cedar Rapids, IA
Lance Greco, Cedar Rapids, IA
David J. Detwiler, Cedar Rapids, IA
John Kapler, Cedar Rapids, IA
Brett Lund, Cedar Rapids, IA
John McInerney, Cedar Rapids, IA
Dale Marvin Nordby, Cedar Rapids, IA
Sarah Pauley, Cedar Rapids, IA
Larry Pernicka, Cedar Rapids, IA
John Petermann, Cedar Rapids, IA
Myron Rupp, Cedar Rapids, IA
Yvonne Savoy, Cedar Rapids, IA
Elisabeth Wellington, Cedar Rapids, IA
Connie Whitmore, Cedar Rapids, IA
Gerald Janicke, Centerville, IA
Lee Schwerdtfeger, Centerville, IA
Myrna Ladwig, Chester, IA
Vanessia Oden, Cincinnati, IA
Dennis L Binder Jr, City not submitted, IA
Lawrence Boeckmann, City not submitted, IA
Christopher Brittain, City not submitted, IA
Mark Burkart, City not submitted, IA
Larry Clement, City not submitted, IA
Van Delashmutt, City not submitted, IA
John Dommerman, City not submitted, IA
Celene Eliason, City not submitted, IA
Grace Gabrielsen, City not submitted, IA
Ed Hardgrave, City not submitted, IA
marv johnson, City not submitted, IA
tom mace, City not submitted, IA
Doug Maxson, City not submitted, IA
Brian McKnight, City not submitted, IA
See McRemer, City not submitted, IA
Alan Meyer, City not submitted, IA
Don Miller, City not submitted, IA
Michael Nevins, City not submitted, IA
Leonard Pistek, City not submitted, IA
Alvin Rottinghaus, City not submitted, IA
Richard Steggall, City not submitted, IA
Dale Whitaker, City not submitted, IA
Martha Pauley, Clear Lake, IA
Robert Speakar, Clear Lake, IA
Allen Schmid, Clinton, IA
Cheryl Devoto, Clive, IA
Greta Kelso, Clive, IA
Patricia Liittschwager, Clive, IA
Wendell Ross, Colfax, IA
melodie applegate, Colo, IA
Betty Henderson, Colo, IA
William Tucker, Colo, IA
Gary Nielsen, Coralville, IA
David Clayton, Council Bluffs, IA
Craig Congdon, Council Bluffs, IA
Billy Daniels, Council Bluffs, IA
Edwin Daugherty, Council Bluffs, IA
Brad Elgan, Council Bluffs, IA
Mike Franks, Council Bluffs, IA
John Guehlstorff Iii, Council Bluffs, IA
Marjorie Matzen, Council Bluffs, IA
Max McCord, Council Bluffs, IA
Freddie Miller, Council Bluffs, IA
Joni Paez, Council Bluffs, IA
Lenny Scaletta, Council Bluffs, IA
James Shaw, Council Bluffs, IA
Pat Toscano, Council Bluffs, IA
Tim Moore, Crescent, IA
Joseph Villarreal, Crescent, IA
Stan Kepros, Cresco, IA
Jeanne Ruiz, Cresco, IA
John Botts, Cumming, IA
Donald Hawbaker, Dallas Center, IA
Lee Inghram, Danville, IA
Keith Avey, Davenport, IA
Shelia Clayton, Davenport, IA
Nancy Gronewold, Davenport, IA
Terry Honnold, Davenport, IA
Mark Jasper, Davenport, IA
Rayanne Moser, Davenport, IA
Roger Risch, Davenport, IA
Joe Speer, Davenport, IA
Terry Welty, Davenport, IA
Alan Yoder, Davenport, IA
Daniel Carolan, Decorah, IA
Thomas Hansen, Decorah, IA
Janice Tyler, Decorah, IA
Noel JOHNSON, Denison, IA
jim samples, Denmark, IA
Shirley Bird, Des Moines, IA
Paul Bisanti, Des Moines, IA
Wayne Brill, Des Moines, IA
Doug DeFord, Des Moines, IA
Thomas Dudley, Des Moines, IA
Darrell Ferguson, Des Moines, IA
William Hackley, Des Moines, IA
clifford hammers, Des Moines, IA
Marjorie Hansen, Des Moines, IA
Gary Lee, Des Moines, IA
James Leporte, Des Moines, IA
James Lyttle, Des Moines, IA
Vincent Meek, Des Moines, IA
Ron Quick, Des Moines, IA
Shirley Reiste, Des Moines, IA
David Ross, Des Moines, IA
Willia Sansenbach, Des Moines, IA
Rick Trim, Des Moines, IA
Frank Tursi, Des Moines, IA
Bob Wells, Des Moines, IA
Dennis Wilhelm, Des Moines, IA
Jena Merical, Dexter, IA
Theresa Huinker, Dubuque, IA
Janice Labonne, Dubuque, IA
John Muenster, Dubuque, IA
Jeffrey Robbins, Dubuque, IA
Julie Schilling, Dubuque, IA
Michael Stallsmith, Dubuque, IA
Scott Woywood, Dubuque, IA
David Kramer, Dyersville, IA
Dave KRAMER, Dyersville, IA
Earl and Jeanne McBride, Eagle Grove, IA
John and Norma Irwin, Early, IA
Teresa Meeks, Eldridge, IA
Darrell Rude, Eldridge, IA
Bill Hansen, Estherville, IA
Merle Dockendorff, Fairfield, IA
Dick Bries, Farley, IA
Jackie Williams, Farley, IA
Jingles Waterman, Fayette, IA
John Frank, Fontanelle, IA
marty daggett, Forest City, IA
Patricia Nessa, Forest city, IA
Donald Mack, Fort Madison, IA
Monica Stupka, Garner, IA
Donald Stupka, Garner, IA
jason reinke, Geneva, IA
Tom Demory, Glenwood, IA
Wayne Herman, Glidden, IA
Roger Harvey, Grimes, IA
Dwight Bisgard, Griswold, IA
Cara Hall, Grundy Center, IA
Mike Mikels, Harlan, IA
Karla Mikkelsen, Harlan, IA
Kelly Robinson, Harlan, IA
Dorothy Carrothers, Hedrick, IA
Bradley Lewis, Hiawatha, IA
DON DOLL, Hornick, IA
Kevin Kollbaum, Hornick, IA
Joseph Wilson, Hudson, IA
Lavonne Spaans, Hull, IA
Gary Hendricks, Humboldt, IA
Colleen Johnson, Humboldt, IA
Amy Dettbarn, Huxley, IA
rebecca dunbar, Indianola, IA
Michelle Fetters Steen, Indianola, IA
Ricky Halvorsen, Indianola, IA
Jay & Donna Drisen, Inwood, IA
Jacqueline Bienlien, Iowa City, IA
Richard Couch, Iowa City, IA
Sandy Lloyd, Iowa City, IA
Dianne Molander, Iowa City, IA
chad murphy, Iowa City, IA
Martin Wenck, Iowa City, IA
Bill Bonin, Iowa Falls, IA
Jerry Hitch, Iowa Falls, IA
Jean O’Malia, Iowa Falls, IA
Jim Furman, Johnston, IA
Joe Hamling, Johnston, IA
jeanne jennings, Johnston, IA
Jack Koopal, Johnston, IA
Michael Nelson, Johnston, IA
Kent Wildrick, Johnston, IA
Len Garrison, Kingsley, IA
Anthony Rothrock, Kingsley, IA
Bessie Gilmore, Kiron, IA
Joseph W Linton, Knoxville, IA
Terry Smith, Lake City, IA
Andy Leppert, Lansing, IA
Robert Fonder, Laurens, IA
Rick Kislia, Le Claire, IA
Leray Bleeker, LeClaire, IA
Ron Shepherd, LeClaire, IA
Davy Yoder, Leon, IA
Doris McElmeel, Lisbon, IA
D. Shon Fagan, Macksburg, IA
philip erickson, Madrid, IA
Michelle Bockenstedt, Manchester, IA
Richard Cordes, Manchester, IA
George Durey, Manchester, IA
David Gore, Manning, IA
Bruce VonSprecken, Maquoketa, IA
Anita Felling, Marengo, IA
Kenneth Connelly, Marion, IA
Randy Gardner, Marion, IA
Anita Hansen, Marion, IA
Terry Hanson, Marion, IA
Heidi Hepker, Marion, IA
David Knuth, Marion, IA
Marilyn Mark, Marion, IA
James McPartland, Marion, IA
Timothy Morrissey, marion, IA
Kathy Patterson, Marion, IA
James Sauer, Marion, IA
sherri shreeves, Marion, IA
Allen Tupker, Marion, IA
Doug White, Marion, IA
Bill Egleston, Marshalltown, IA
Leo Neva, Marshalltown, IA
K Cassel, Mason City, IA
Daryl Muilenburg, Maurice, IA
fcebert@aol.com Ebert, Missouri Valley, IA
Ladonna Retzlaff, Monticello, IA
Larry Davis, Montrose, IA
Bill Ward, Moravia, IA
Judy Ray, Mount Ayr, IA
Judi Collora, Mount Pleasant, IA
Don And Carol Walden, Mount Vernon, IA
Richard Nissen, Mt Pleasant, IA
Patriot Tobey, Mt Pleasant, IA
James Jensen, Muscatine, IA
James Phillips, Muscatine, IA
Tony Rickey, Muscatine, IA
Pam Wearth, Muscatine, IA
Jerald Nott, Nashua, IA
Steven Heerts, New Hartford, IA
Russell Truex, New Hartford, IA
Linda Abernathey, Newhall, IA
Ruth Rusk, Newton, IA
Marvin Hinrichs, Nichols, IA
Dave Lewis, North Liberty, IA
Jeanette Best, Norwalk, IA
Sandra Heckart, Norwalk, IA
David Case, Oakland, IA
Cheri Schmidt, Ocheyedan, IA
Thomas Smith, Ollie, IA
Karen Hahn-Brown, Osage, IA
Mary Burkheimer, Osceola, IA
James Peddicord, Osceola, IA
Tom Wales, Oskaloosa, IA
Kurt Uhlenhake, OSSIAN, IA
Gene Coombs, Ottumwa, IA
Paul Cremer, Ottumwa, IA
Paul Halferty, Ottumwa, IA
Dwight Paris, Ottumwa, IA
Dusty Proctor, Ottumwa, IA
Joan Braatz, Oxford, IA
Duane Schlabach, Parnell, IA
Michael Kraft, Pella, IA
Jane Stoulil, Pocahontas, IA
Joy Cummings, Prairie City, IA
Jean Irwin, Primghar, IA
Larry Hodne, Ralston, IA
Linda Braden, Red Oak, IA
Dan Castleberry, Robins, IA
Bob Groeneweg, Rock Valley, IA
Neil Blaas, Rockwell City, IA
Gary Clark, Roland, IA
Billy Williams, Roland, IA
Nancy Folkerts, Rudd, IA
Phillip W Filides, Sabula, IA
Lana Myers, Sac City, IA
Martin Pearson, Sac City, IA
Kevin Kirchgatter, Saint Ansgar, IA
Ellen Ross, Saint Charles, IA
Stephanie Kuperus, Sanborn, IA
Bradley Robinson, Sergeant Bluff, IA
Alvina Krikke, Sheldon, IA
Alyda Roetman, Sheldon, IA
Edwin Verburg, Sheldon, IA
Marcia Wassenaar, Sheldon, IA
Lila Breedlove, Shenandoah, IA
Russell Gordon, Shenandoah, IA
David Brame, Sidney, IA
Jamesq Abshier, Sioux City, IA
Seth Cottrell, Sioux City, IA
Foster Ellis, Sioux City, IA
Thomas Graham, Sioux City, IA
Valerie Hair, Sioux City, IA
Deb Hale, Sioux City, IA
Ricky Harris, Sioux City, IA
Linsey Lane, Sioux City, IA
Jose Leon, Sioux City, IA
Christopher Lybbert, Sioux City, IA
Stephanie McManigal, Sioux City, IA
Mark Nahra, Sioux City, IA
Ken Reuter, Sioux City, IA
Christa Carson, Solon, IA
Ron Melsha, Solon, IA
Richard Wojno, Solon, IA
William Harmonson, Spencer, IA
Barbara Tomlinson, Spencer, IA
Lori Birkland, Spirit Lake, IA
Leroy Sorensen, Stanton, IA
Donald Mahlow, State Center, IA
Bonnie Hach, STORM LAKE, IA
Karen Lonsdale, Stuart, IA
gordon strain, thor, IA
wayne patrick, Toddville, IA
Mary Tangeman, Toddville, IA
Michael Tangeman, Toddville, IA
W.L. Bland, Urbandale, IA
Shelley Cherry, Urbandale, IA
James Fitts, Urbandale, IA
Richard Freedman, Urbandale, IA
Donna Nelson, Urbandale, IA
Bill Pim, Urbandale, IA
Bob Thenhaus, Urbandale, IA
Warren Stueve, Van Meter, IA
Dean Van Gundy, Van Meter, IA
Kip Murphy, Ventura, IA
Lowell Hyett, Wapello, IA
Michael Cole, Waterloo, IA
Craig Hawker, Waterloo, IA
cheryl helmers, Waterloo, IA
Katrin Kuriger, Waterloo, IA
Larry Martin, Waterloo, IA
Gary Moser, Waterloo, IA
Jan Seeley, Waterloo, IA
Dale Thome, Waterloo, IA
Russell Watson, Waterloo, IA
Gary Buda, Waukee, IA
Michael Manley, Waukee, IA
Michael Manley, Waukee, IA
Julie Muselman, Waukee, IA
Beverly White, Waukee, IA
James Bieber, Waukon, IA
Betty Larsen, Waukon, IA
Cliff Green, Wdm, IA
Michael Boyd, West Des Moines, IA
David Creighton Sr, West Des Moines, IA
Paul Curran, West Des Moines, IA
Dan Custis, West Des Moines, IA
Cheryl Kutscher, West des moines, IA
Colin McBee, West Des Moines, IA
Mark Miller, West Des Moines, IA
Deborah O’Donnell, West Des Moines, IA
Marianne Wadle, West Des Moines, IA
Frank Ward, West Des Moines, IA
Jacqueline Garlow, West Union, IA
Wade Mackey, Wilton, IA
Lorri Schlueter, Worthington, IA
Richard Mahlow, Zearing, IA

Remembering Justice Scalia

Antonin ScaliaJustice Scalia will Lie In Repose At The Supreme Court on Friday

Much has been written about Justice Scalia’s passing, but below are a couple of articles written by people who were his ideological adversaries. The true mark of a man isn’t just what his friends and allies say about him when he’s gone, but also what those he did battle with have to say about him as well.

Click on they hyperlinks to read each article in full.

The Scalia I knew Will Be Greatly Missed – Cass Sunstein

[quote]Volumes can and will be written about Scalia’s approach to the law. Even those of us who disagreed with him (as I often did, sometimes intensely) owe him an immense debt, because the clarity and power of his arguments forced us to do better.[/quote]

Antonin Scalia Will Be Remembered as One of the Greats – Mark Joseph Stern

Liberals—and, as a shorthand, many journalists—labeled Scalia a “conservative.” That was true as far as political temperament went; from his notorious friendship with Dick Cheney to his thinly veiled delight at the outcome of Bush v. Gore, Scalia was a Republican at heart. But to call him nothing more than a “conservative” would be to overlook the remarkable nuance and complexity of his jurisprudence. Scalia cast a decisive vote in the most important free speech case of the 1980s, Texas v. Johnson, which held that flag burning qualified as constitutionally protected expression. He wrote the landmark majority opinion in 2011’s Brown v. EMA, a double victory for First Amendment advocates that protected both depictions of violence and minors’ rights. And he dissented in Maryland v. King, arguing that the Fourth Amendment forbids law enforcement from collecting DNA from arrestees. (His fierce dissent sounds like it could have sprung from the pen of Edward Snowden.)

Stern closes with the following.

When I was younger and angrier, I expected to cheer Scalia’s retirement, elated by his absence from the court. Today, I only feel overwhelming sadness. In my time covering the court, I’ve grown to admire the gruff, cantankerous man who lobs bombs and quips at nervous lawyers and bemused justices alike. Scalia was the justice you either loved or hated, relentlessly opinionated, representative of everything that was right or wrong with the Supreme Court. He was witty, unpredictable, caustic, indignant, and brilliant. He was an American original. And after the partisan howling over his legacy fades, that is how his country will remember him.

Trump in Command of South Carolina, but a Much Different Race is on the Horizon

Trump DSM
Photo by Dave Davidson – Prezography.com

Except for one Monmouth University poll that showed Dr. Ben Carson with a one-point lead in South Carolina back in early November, Donald Trump has led every poll in the Palmetto state since late July. Trump hasn’t just led in the polls, he’s dominated the competition.

If you average Trump’s support in all of the 23 different surveys of likely South Carolina voters that have been conducted over the past seven months, he averages a stunning 34.78 percent. Trump’s current lead over Texas Senator stands at 22 points. Trump has maintained a double-digit margin over his nearest competitor in South Carolina since mid-December.

Trump’s lead in South Carolina, combined with his big win in New Hampshire last week, would indicate that he’s in the driver’s seat for the Republican nomination. However, in Saturday night’s CBS News Republican presidential debate from South Carolina, Trump appeared to be anything but in control of the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

The previous frontrunners for the Republican nomination would have been content to sit back play it safe. How many times in the Republican debates of 2012 was Mitt Romney declared the winner of primary debate because his opponents either refused to go after him or because he was successful in brushing off their criticisms of his record or previous statements?

Trump used the ninth debate, and the first after trouncing the entire GOP field in New Hampshire, to moderate his position on foreign entanglements, Planned Parenthood funding, and he even blamed President George W. Bush for the country being attacked on September 11, 2001. Not only is the timing of all of this questionable with the March 1st SEC primary just around the corner, where one would think more conservative positions on foreign policy and social issues would be key, but the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia also puts a newfound importance on issues like abortion regulation, religious liberty, and Second Amendment rights.

As I watched the debate on Saturday night, I tweeted, “This. Is. Nuts. Either Trump is absolutely brilliant and knows something about the electorate nobody else does, or he’s imploding.” As with every Trump-induced controversy, it’s wise to give it a few days before predicting his imminent demise. Still as I write this on Monday afternoon, I still don’t know what to think of Trump’s debate performance. But for the first time, I think he has misread the Republican electorate.

The vacancy created by Justice Scalia’s unfortunate death resets the presidential race moving forward. Even if Trump is able to win South Carolina on Saturday, I still think his decision to criticize President George W. Bush on the 9-11 attacks, and more importantly his idiotic defense of Planned Parenthood funding, puts into question his judgment and temperament in a way that’s never been done before.

Trump was smart at the onset of Saturday’s debate to mention federal judges Bill Pryor and Diane Sykes as two jurists that he would consider nominating if he had the chance to do so. During the rest of the debate, however, Trump cast doubt on his ability to follow through on and actually nominate a conservative like Pryor, since the Democrats’ main objection to his previous federal nomination was because of his views on Roe v. Wade, which he called “the worst abomination in the history of constitutional law.”

Meanwhile, Cruz has used the uncertainty of the Supreme Court vacancy to point out previous things that Trump has said regarding abortion and Second Amendment rights. The Cruz campaign is out with a new TV ad called, “Supreme Trust” that closes with a statement that we cannot trust Trump on the serious issues like life, marriage, religious liberty, and the Second Amendment.

After defending Planned Parenthood in last weekend’s CBS News debate, the Cruz campaign released, “Currency,” an ad that rehashes the debate about Planned Parenthood treating the unborn like currency, and then featuring Trump saying, “Planned Parenthood serves a good function.” The Cruz campaign showed no signs of backing down after Trump held a press conference demanding that Cruz take down the ads.  Infact, the Cruz campaign responded by releasing a third spot, this one called “Chance.”  The lastest spot features Trump’s liberal record on partial-birth abortion, federal funding for Planned Parenthood and Hillary Clinton all in his own words.  Cruz used similar ads in the lead up to the Iowa Caucuses to boost turnout of evangelicals while also peeling them away from Trump. The campaign is obviously using a similar concept in South Carolina and other southern states.

As the Republican race progresses, it’s already abundantly clear that Cruz is likely to benefit from the focus that will now be on the Supreme Court. Similarly, it is clear that Trump, will be the one candidate who the new focus on the Court will likely hurt. As is also always the case in presidential nomination fights, momentum also plays an important role, and if Trump is able to deliver another victory in South Carolina, his position as the frontrunner for the Republican nomination may be cemented, but he will not yet be a lock to win.

An awful lot will be decided when the polls close in South Carolina at 7 p.m. eastern. Just like in New Hampshire, we must wait and see if any of the Republican candidates can rise up to challenge Trump for the win, but who finishes in second and third place will be equally important.

Will Cruz, with the balance of the Supreme Court now in jeopardy, be able to consolidate support around his candidacy and be the only candidate to really challenge Trump’s lead? Or will Sen. Marco Rubio, who rebounded with a good debate performance, be able to capitalize on the endorsements of Rep. Trey Gowdy and U.S. Senator Tim Scott, two young and dynamic elected officials from key parts of South Carolina.

And while Jeb Bush and John Kasich, are considered to be long-shots at this point. Bush has the endorsement of Sen. Lindsey Graham and members of the Bush family, including former President George W. Bush, are also campaigning for him in the state. Kasich, meanwhile, has garnered ample media attention following his second place finish in New Hampshire.

South Carolina’s Republican presidential primary may not sort out who ends up being the GOP nominee, but it should help us determine who the challenger to Trump will be moving forward. If that answer for some reason is not clear on Saturday night, meaning Trump wins and not much separates the rest, Trump will continue to benefit.





Prepare for Battle: The 2016 Election Just Became Even More Significant

USSCThe untimely death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia not only will change the makeup and demeanor of the U.S. Supreme Court, but it’s also safe to say that the ensuing nomination process to find his replacement on the bench will also significantly impact that the 2016 general election.

The impact of Scalia’s death instantly changed what had already been an unruly and unpredictable race for the Republican nomination for President. With the ideological balance of the court at stake, Senate Republican Mitch McConnell wasted no time on Saturday evening following the news of Scalia’s death in putting out a statement saying, “The American people‎ should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee that will be in charge of the nomination process, echoed McConnell’s sentiment. “Given the huge divide in the country, and the fact that this president, above all others, has made no bones about his goal to use the courts to circumvent Congress and push through his own agenda, it only makes sense that we defer to the American people who will elect a new president to select the next Supreme Court Justice,” Grassley stated Saturday evening.

The quick reaction of McConnell and Grassley meant that the battle lines were quickly established. In his brief remarks from California about Scalia’s passing, President Obama stated that he intends to fulfill his responsibility to nominate a successor, and added that he expects the Senate to fulfill its responsibility

These are responsibilities that I take seriously, as should everyone,” said President Obama. “They’re bigger than any one party. They are about our democracy. They’re about the institution to which Justice Scalia dedicated his professional life, and making sure it continues to function as the beacon of justice that our Founders envisioned.

If Scalia’s death does anything, it puts the 2016 presidential race into perspective. Regardless of which Republican presidential candidate you may favor, there is something much larger at stake – the balance of the Supreme Court. Republicans have already signaled that they plan to stall the confirmation process in order to allow whoever is elected this November to fill the vacancy caused by Scalia’s death.

Democrats were quick to call Republicans obstructionists despite Grassley and other Republicans citing the fact that no lame-duck president in recent history has nominated someone to be a Supreme Court Justice in the final year of his presidency. And while President Obama, Democrats in Congress, and their allies in the media will likely howl about the actions of the majority party in the U.S. Senate, they would do the same thing if the shoe was on the other foot.

Democrats may not like what’s about to transpire in Washington, but it’s about time that they are forced to take some of their own medicine. It was the Democrat Senate in 2009 that took a number of unprecedented moves in order to pass the Affordable Care Act. It was the Democrats in 2013 who enacted the “nuclear option” to change the long standing rules in the U.S. Senate so that the minority party could not filibuster executive branch nominations. The rule change, while controversial, did not apply to Supreme Court nominations.

Call it whatever you want -payback, poetic justice, or partisan politics, but when the balance of the Supreme Court is in play, you better believe it’s going to be a no-holds barred contest.

The Supreme Court vacancy will significantly alter the Republican presidential race and the general election that follows. Yet, regardless of who ultimately prevails, Republicans must be steadfast in their decision not to allow President Obama to replace to Justice Scalia, who served as the conservative cornerstone on the court for nearly 30 years with liberal jurists who surely will see no problem with a president who routinely acts outside of the boundaries set forth by the constitution.

Conservatives and Republicans need to prepare for battle. It’s going to be the most intense election in history now that so much is on the line.


Republican Presidential Candidates Comment on Supreme Courts Decision on Same-Sex Marriage


Governor Mike Huckabee

Little Rock, Ark. – Former Arkansas governor and 2016 Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee made the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling on Obergefell v. Hodges.

“The Supreme Court has spoken with a very divided voice on something only the Supreme Being can do-redefine marriage. I will not acquiesce to an imperial court any more than our Founders acquiesced to an imperial British monarch. We must resist and reject judicial tyranny, not retreat.

“This ruling is not about marriage equality, it’s about marriage redefinition. This irrational, unconstitutional rejection of the expressed will of the people in over 30 states will prove to be one of the court’s most disastrous decisions, and they have had many. The only outcome worse than this flawed, failed decision would be for the President and Congress, two co-equal branches of government, to surrender in the face of this out-of-control act of unconstitutional, judicial tyranny.”

“The Supreme Court can no more repeal the laws of nature and nature’s God on marriage than it can the laws of gravity. Under our Constitution, the court cannot write a law, even though some cowardly politicians will wave the white flag and accept it without realizing that they are failing their sworn duty to reject abuses from the court. If accepted by Congress and this President, this decision will be a serious blow to religious liberty, which is the heart of the First Amendment.”

Yesterday, in advance of the ruling, Huckabee announced a statewide “Religious Liberty Townhall Tour” in Iowa, June 30-July 2.

The former governor also recently penned a USA Today editorial, “America can’t bow to judicial tyranny on health care or gay marriage,” which outlined some some of his concerns with the court and the threat to religious liberty. To read the editorial, click here.

Governor Jeb Bush

“Guided by my faith, I believe in traditional marriage.  I believe the Supreme Court should have allowed the states to make this decision.  I also believe that we should love our neighbor and respect others, including those making lifetime commitments.  In a country as diverse as ours, good people who have opposing views should be able to live side by side.  It is now crucial that as a country we protect religious freedom and the right of conscience and also not discriminate.”

Governor Rick Perry

AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today issued the following statement regarding the Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges:
“I am disappointed the Supreme Court today chose to change the centuries old definition of marriage as between one man and one woman. I’m a firm believer in traditional marriage, and I also believe the 10th Amendment leaves it to each state to decide this issue. I fundamentally disagree with the court rewriting the law and assaulting the 10th Amendment. Our founding fathers did not intend for the judicial branch to legislate from the bench, and as president, I would appoint strict Constitutional conservatives who will apply the law as written.”

Senator Rick Santorum

VERONA, PA – Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to redefine the institution of marriage.

Rick Santorum said: “Today, five unelected justices decided to redefine the foundational unit that binds together our society without public debate or input. Now is the people’s opportunity respond because the future of the institution of marriage is too important to not have a public debate. The Court is one of three co-equal branches of government and, just as they have in cases from Dred Scott to Plessy, the Court has an imperfect track record. The stakes are too high and the issue too important to simply cede the will of the people to five unaccountable justices.”

“But leaders don’t accept bad decisions that they believe harm the country, they have the courage of their convictions and lead the country down the better path. Marriage, the family and our children are too central to a healthy society to not fight for what is best. I realized that fact early on and that is why I lead the charge against some in my own party in 2004 to ensure the Federal Marriage Amendment received a vote and I continue to stand for marriage, for families, for freedom,” continued Santorum.

“As President, I will be committed to using the bully pulpit of the White House to lead a national discussion on the importance to our economy and our culture of mothers and fathers entering into healthy marriages so that every child is given their birthright- to be raised by their mother and father in a stable, loving home. I will stand for the preservation of religious liberty and conscience, to believe what you are called to believe free from persecution. And I will ensure that the people will have a voice in decisions that impact the rock upon which our civilization is built,” Santorum concluded.

Dr. Ben Carson

While I strongly disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision, their ruling is now the law of the land.

I call on Congress to make sure deeply held religious views are respected and protected. The government must never force Christians to violate their religious beliefs.

I support same sex civil unions but to me, and millions like me, marriage is a religious service not a government form.

Governor Bobby Jindal

URBANDALE, IOWA – The following is an excerpt on the gay marriage ruling taken from the Governor’s remarks in Iowa today:

The Supreme Court is completely out of control, making laws on their own, and has become a public opinion poll instead of a judicial body.

If we want to save some money lets just get rid of the court.

Yesterday, Justice Scalia noted that in the Obamacare ruling “words have no meaning.”

Today, Chief Justice Roberts admitted that the gay marriage ruling had nothing to do with the Constitution.

Marriage between a man and a woman was established by God, and no earthly court can alter that.

Hillary Clinton and The Left will now mount an all-out assault on Religious Freedom guaranteed in the First Amendment.

Regardless of your views on marriage, all freedom loving people must pledge to respect our first amendment freedoms.

Carly Fiorina

This is only the latest example of an activist Court ignoring its constitutional duty to say what the law is and not what the law should be. Justice Alito spoke for so many of us when he said that “[t]oday’s decision usurps the constitutional right of the people to decide whether to keep or alter the traditional understanding of marriage…All Americans, whatever their thinking on that issue, should worry about what the majority’s claim of power portends.”

The Court ruled today that all Americans should receive equal benefits and rights from the government under the law. I have always supported this view. However, this decision was also about the definition of marriage itself. I do not agree that the Court can or should redefine marriage. I believe that responsibility should have remained with states and voters where this conversation has continued in churches, town halls and living rooms around the country.

Moving forward, however, all of our effort should be focused on protecting the religious liberties and freedom of conscience for those Americans that profoundly disagree with today’s decision.

The Court did not and could not end this debate today. Let us continue to show tolerance for those whose opinions and sincerely held beliefs differ from our own. We must lead by example, finding a way to respect one another and to celebrate a culture that protects religious freedom while promoting equality under the law.

Senator Lindsey Graham

Alexandria, VA – Today, Senator Lindsey Graham released the following statement on the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage:

“I am a proud defender of traditional marriage and believe the people of each state should have the right to determine their marriage laws. However, the Supreme Court has ruled that state bans on gay marriage are unconstitutional, and I will respect the Court’s decision. Furthermore, given the quickly changing tide of public opinion on this issue, I do not believe that an attempt to amend the U.S. Constitution could possibly gain the support of three-fourths of the states or a supermajority in the U.S. Congress. Rather than pursing a divisive effort that would be doomed to fail, I am committing myself to ensuring the protection of religious liberties of all Americans. No person of faith should ever be forced by the federal government to take action that goes against his or her conscience or the tenets of their religion. As president, I would staunchly defend religious liberty in this nation and would devote the necessary federal resources to the protection of all Americans from any effort to hinder the free and full exercise of their rights. While we have differences, it is time for us to move forward together respectfully and as one people.”

Huckabee Says Thanks, but No Thanks On Supreme Court Decisions


Being a previous winner of the Iowa Caucuses, Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee knows Iowa well, and he knows what it takes to win the Republican caucuses. In Iowa, building relationships with caucus-goers matters, and that process can take some time.

Since announcing his 2016 candidacy in early May, Iowa has been a frequent stop on his schedule. Huckabee has spent nine days campaigning in Iowa in the last two months alone. That’s equal to amount of time Rick Santorum and Dr. Ben Carson have spent in the state over the same time span. Huckabee is one of a handful of candidates who is thoroughly traveling the state and reconnecting with potential caucus voters.

Accompanying Huckabee on his most recent foray into the state was his wife Janet, who appears to be taking on a much bigger role in his 2016 presidential campaign. Before Huckabee was introduced by local supporters, Huckabee’s wife briefly addressed the audience of 50 or so at Nana Greer’s Family Table Restaurant.

Speaking of her husband, Janet Huckabee said, “What you see is what you get.” She also offered to take questions from the audience at the end of the event if they want to know what Huckabee is really like.   She talked about how their day began at 3:30 a.m. in Miami. She admitted the she’s not all that chipper at that time of the day, but Mike likes to get out of bed, turn every light and the TV on, and often times is singing or humming a tune. “He’s always got music in his heart.”

Mrs. Huckabee also made it clear that she’s behind his decision to run for president again. “He’s excited, and I’m 100 percent for it.”

TheIowaRepublican.com interviewed Huckabee following the event, where we asked about how his campaign is going, and also some questions about impending court decisions.

It’s going great. Everywhere we’ve gone, we have had excellent turnout for our events, even when it’s been on short notice. If we get a day that frees up on the calendar, we will come to Iowa, or maybe South Carolina. We are trying to win it the old fashioned way because the one thing I learned is that you could have all the money in the world, but if you don’t get out and connect with people in this stage, you’re not going to win. It’s just a matter of, are you willing to spend the time, do the heavy lifting, the hard things? That’s how you earn Iowa. There just aren’t any shortcuts here.

Huckabee was the only presidential candidate who weighed in on the Iowa Supreme Court’s decision to overrule the ban on Planned Parenthood’s webcam abortions. I asked Huckabee if that surprised him.

It does in a way because it’s very revealing. People need to understand that having an abortion by telemedicine leaves that woman in a very vulnerable position. Often what happens in a medicinal abortion is heavy bleeding, cramping, there are serious medical consequences, and the belief that that can just be done over the Internet, I find that to be irresponsible healthcare. You wouldn’t let people do their own tonsillectomy. We wouldn’t let them put tubes in their own kid’s s ear. In fact, see how ridiculous that sounds when I say it, your reaction said, ‘That sounds crazy.’ Isn’t it just as crazy for us to prescribe an abortifacient that could have some severe complications? I always find it disingenuous when the people who are pushing for these things say that they are doing it for woman’s health. They actually are making women more vulnerable. [For example,] abortion clinics don’t need to have the same clinical standards that other outpatient surgery centers do. The abortionists defend it by saying it’s an encumbrance of a woman’s health. No, it’s to protect them. You would think that a surgical procedure to end that baby’s life should at least have the same medical standard as pulling a wisdom tooth.

You have been a vocal critic of the courts, what’s your posture on the eve of these court decisions?

I think a lot of Americans have never thought through what happens if we just acquiesce to the idea of judicial supremacy. That leads to judicial tyranny. If five unelected people can overrule an elected president and an elected congress, that’s a violation of the constitution. They can’t do that. I just want to scream when I hear elected governors, senators, and law professors from Ivy League schools act as if what Supreme Court says settles it. No, it certainly does not. That’s why we have three branches of government, not one. And I always ask, okay, let’s take the marriage issue off [the table], let’s say we want the Supreme Court to make a decision without any regard to what the legislature thinks or what people voting in many states think, and we’re going to elect the president by allowing the party chairmen in each of the 50 states to just pick one. People would say, well they can’t do that. Why not? Well, because it’s not in the law. Neither is same sex marriage, it’s not in the law. The court cannot make a law. It can interpret one. And we need to take their interpretations seriously, but we are not under an obligation to acquiesce and then to just let them enforce it. Congress has the power of the purse, executive branch has the power of the sword, and without the purse and sword there is no law.

I asked Huckabee if he was President, what his reaction would be to a court ruling allowing gay marriage.

If the worst outcome on the marriage decision happened, when it came down, I would say, we are grateful that the court has issued its opinion, and we take it seriously. However, we have 535 elected representatives of the people, and they have not enabled legislation to implement this nor have I signed it or agreed to enforce it. So, I’m sure if the legislature wishes to take that up, and if they put a bill on my desk, I will either sign or veto it. And we will see if the Court has persuaded us that their constitutional argument is solid. Until then, there is no same sex marriage in this country because that court cannot create a law and they certainly can’t enforce it.

 Photo by Dave Davidson – Prezography.com

Roundup: Gay Marriage and the Supreme Court

On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act in a 5 to 4 ruling.  The law, which was signed in 1996 by then President Bill Clinton, recognized only marriages between one man and one woman under federal law, thus not allowing gay couples to receive federal benefits.

The Court also ruled in a case concerning California’s Proposition 8.  Proposition 8 is a law that was passed by a vote of the majority of the people in California that outlaws homosexual marriage.  The court didn’t rule that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional, but instead, it found that the party who brought the case didn’t have standing because the party defending the California law wasn’t the state, but rather, one of the main backers of Proposition 8.

While the Court’s ruling on the Proposition 8 case wasn’t a win or a loss for either side, the result will be the resumption of same sex marriages in California, despite having a state law that precludes it.  The Court’s decision to basically punt the question before the court sets a disturbing precedent for the future.  So long as any governor with the support of his or her Attorney General chooses not to uphold a law in their state, there is no recourse for the citizens of that state.

Some Quick Thoughts:

Defeat of DOMA is Bad News

The defeat of DOMA will ultimately lead to the undoing of every state constitutional amendment that has been passed.  Some Republican politicians, like Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who believe the Court’s DOMA ruling is a win for federalism aren’t looking down the road to what’s coming.

You can’t have one set of rules for people in 12 states and a different set of rules in the other 38 states.  At some point, the Supreme Court will have to rule on what rights married gay couples have in states that prohibit gay marriage.  At that point, it is very possible that the Court could recognize a federal “right” to gay marriage.

For years, presidential candidates like Fred Thompson, Rick Perry, Ron Paul and others have always used the state’s rights argument to avoid taking a position on controversial social issues, especially when it comes to passing a federal constitutional amendment to protect the right to life and traditional marriage.  That position may have been politically expedient, but as we look to the horizon on the marriage issues, sadly, the states are not going to be the final arbitrator on this issue.

Presidential Elections Matter

It was shocking to me that the Romney campaign never made the Supreme Court an issue during the campaign.  While the configuration of liberal, conservative, and moderate justices has not changed under President Obama, should he have the opportunity to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, who turns 77 later this month, liberals will have complete control of the court.  What a scary thought.

The Root of the Problem is the Tax Code

Think about it for a minute.  If our tax code didn’t give certain benefits to people based on their marital status, there would have never been a need for a Defense of Marriage Act in the first place.  Our tax code was also the justification the Supreme Court used to validate Obamacare.  I can sense the Fair Tax getting more popular by the second.

My Concern

While gay couples say they just want the same rights as everyone else, we have also seen plenty of examples lately of anyone who disagrees with the homosexual lifestyle being castigated or deemed to be unfit for public service.  Just because the Supreme Court grants a group of people certain rights, that doesn’t mean that everyone must now condone that behavior.  I have long said that the issue of gay marriage isn’t a political issue, it’s a religious issue. Thus, no Supreme Court ruling is going to make the issue disappear overnight.

Potential 2016 Presidential Candidates Weigh In:

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul: “Ruling on DOMA was Appropriate”

From ABC News:

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., told ABC News he believes the Supreme Court ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act was appropriate, and that the issue should be left to the states. He praised Justice Anthony Kennedy for avoiding “a cultural war.”

“As a country we can agree to disagree,” Paul said today, stopping for a moment to talk as he walked through the Capitol. “As a Republican Party, that’s kind of where we are as well. The party is going to have to agree to disagree on some of these issues.”

The comments from Paul, a likely GOP presidential candidate in 2016, highlight how the party’s field could divide over gay marriage. Many Republicans have been unusually muted in their reactions to the Supreme Court rulings today.

Paul said he agreed with Kennedy, whom he called “someone who doesn’t just want to be in front of opinion but wants government to keep up with opinion.” He said Kennedy “tried to strike a balance.”

Rick Santorum: “The DOMA decision is another case of the high court overstepping its role.”

“I am very disappointed with today’s Supreme Court rulings regarding marriage.   The DOMA decision is another case of the high court overstepping its role, just as it did with Roe v. Wade.  Further, the Proposition 8 ruling refuses to affirm the process envisioned by our founders for the American people to express its will.  These great moral issues of our time should be left to the democratic process, not to five activist judges. Time and time again, when the definition of marriage has been put before the people, we have affirmed the unique and irreplaceable role the union of a man and a women play in society.   The family unit, with a married mother and father, is a special and unique institution and gives children the maximum opportunity to thrive. I join Americans across the country in continuing to fight for a definition of marriage that gives children their birthright, a mom and a dad, and our country the best chance for a great future.”

Iowa U.S. Senate Candidates

Sam Clovis: “Today’s decision by the Supreme Court on the Defense of Marriage Act is yet another step in the wrong direction for the social and physiological strength of our nation.”

“The American family and traditional values have been under attack by progressive liberals like Congressman Braley for years. Today’s decision by the Supreme Court on the Defense of Marriage Act is yet another step in the wrong direction for the social and physiological strength of our nation.

“If elected, Iowans can be assured that I will be a strong voice for the traditional nuclear family. I will uphold the premise that a family with one man and one woman brought together in holy matrimony is the most important building block of a society.”

David Young: “With DOMA ditched, we must ensure religious institutions remain free from coercion and aren’t forced to perform marriages against our beliefs.”

Matt Whitaker:  The Whitaker campaign has not made any public statements on the ruling.

Notable Iowans Respond to Supreme Court Ruling

Senator Chuck Grassley: “I support traditional marriage, and I hope the states, where the debate had been for more than 200 years, will uphold marriage between one man and one woman.”

Congressman Steve King: “I am disappointed in the Court’s ruling today because the American people should hold the power to determine marriage policy, not the Supreme Court.

“I believe DOMA meets all constitutional standards and I am disappointed that a technical, standing issue means that gay marriage is legal in California despite the will of the voters who enacted Proposition 8.

It is important to realize that the Supreme Court intentionally chose not to find a constitutional right to marry anyone you choose, whether same-sex, or otherwise. The definition of marriage is not redefined this day. Legally speaking, states are now the sole body responsible for identifying legal marriages. Thirty-eight states to date have chosen to identify only traditional marriage. The attempt to redefine marriage will not change the fact that limited government should be responsible for making this decision, and that marriage marks the sacred union of one man and one woman.”

Bob Vander Plaats: “It is important to remember this is not the Roe v. Wade of marriage.”

It does not authorize so-called “same-sex” marriage across the board and does not grant a civil right to marriage.  Both Supreme Court opinions have recognized that marriage is a state issue, and need to be decided at that level.  Iowans have yet to make that decision for themselves. 

Vander Plaats applauded Justice Roberts when Roberts stated that “We are judges, not policy makers.”  This confirms that the Iowa Supreme Court exceeded its Constitutional authority by forcing same-sex “marriage” on Iowa.

Vander Plaats continued, “We are disappointed that Justice Kennedy rationalized the decision he wanted to reach in determining that DOMA is unconstitutional.   We agree with the dissenting opinion, especially Justice Scalia, where he rightfully blasted Kennedy for not using a “rational basis” or “strict scrutiny” in reaching his opinion. 

The definition of marriage affects everyone is foundational to our society, and Iowans need to decide for themselves how marriage will be defined.  We will continue to defend and protect marriage at every opportunity.

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TIR Poll: Iowans Favor Gay Marriage – Retention Election Remains Complicated

By Craig Robinson

A new TIR-Voter/Consumer Research Poll shows 49 percent of Iowans now favor gay marriage, while 42 percent oppose allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally in Iowa.

The survey shows that more people strongly opposes gay marriage (35 percent) than strongly favor gay marriage (33 percent), but its also shows how polarizing the issue has become as only 22 percent of respondents somewhat favor or somewhat oppose gay marriage.

Of the six states that allow gay marriages, Iowa is unique in that it is the only state not located in the northeast to allow full-fledged marriage rights.  Iowa and New Hampshire are similar in the sense that the two are perennial swing states, but the major difference between the two states is that New Hampshire passed a law to legalize it, while a state Supreme Court decision is what allowed gay marriage in Iowa.

Even though the TIR/VCR poll shows that more and more Iowans are accepting gay marriage, the way that it was ushered in by a court decision and not a legislative action has created a unique political environment in the state.  In response to the court’s decision and legislative inaction, Iowans voted out all three Iowa Supreme Court justices who were up for retention in 2010.  Another justice is up for retention in 2012, and the campaign to oust him is already in full swing.

The TIR/VCR poll found that 40 percent of Iowans plan on voting to retain Justice David Wiggins, while 32 percent planned on voting not to retain Wiggins.   A healthy percentage of Iowans, 28 percent, did not know how they would vote in November.

The poll also asked Iowans why they were voting one way or another on the retention of Wiggins. Twenty-seven percent of respondents said they support gay marriage and also plan to vote to retain Justice Wiggins.  Sixteen percent said that they oppose gay marriage, and will also vote to remove Wiggins from the court.

Twenty-two percent of those surveyed said that gay marriage should have been decided by the legislature not the Supreme Court, and that they will vote to remove Wiggins from the court.  Twenty-five percent said that their vote on retention will not be based on the gay marriage issue in any way.  Instead, other issues will shape their decision.

At first glance, the 40 percent retain and 32 percent not retain would seem to be good news for Justice Wiggins.  Yet the results are actually more in favor for the anti-retention effort this fall than it was in the summer of 2010.  In the July 2010 TIR/VCR poll, 40 percent of respondents said they would vote to retain the three Iowa Supreme Court justices, while only 27 percent said they would vote to not to retain them.  That means the anti-retention campaign is starting off in a better position in 2012 than it did in 2010 when it successfully ousted three Iowa Supreme Court justices.

Dr. Jan van Lohuizen, the founder and president the Houston, Texas, based polling firm Voter/Consumer Research indicated that retention elections are difficult to poll since not everyone takes the time to fill out the non-partisan portion of the ballot.

“If you assume that no one speaks a word about this race, a healthy chunk of the 28 percent will not vote at all, which will serve to grow the margin by which he is re-elected,” van Lohuize said.  “Because we don’t know exactly how many, it’s hard to do the math, but let’s say two-thirds don’t vote and the rest split 40/32, the judge ends up winning by 55 to 45 percent.”

Yet in Iowa, the retention campaign of Justice Wiggins is getting a lot of attention, and the success of the 2010 anti-retention also shouldn’t go unnoticed.  The anti-retention effort is well disciplined and on message.  Instead of talking about gay marriage in Iowa, they focus on judicial activism and the low ratings Wiggins has received from his peers.

The Iowa Bar Association and other pro-Wiggins groups are actively campaigning for retention, but they lack the focus and the compelling argument that their opponents have.  Worse yet, they too often show distain toward Bob Vander Plaats, the leader of the anti-retention effort.  Instead of making the best argument as to why Wiggins should remain on the bench, they instead attack their opposition and try to make the case that Vander Plaats and others are injecting politics into the courts by utilizing the retention process.

If the results of the retention poll show us anything, it’s that ousting Justice Wiggins isn’t going to be an easy task, especially now that gay marriage has become more accepted in the state.  Still, the side that does the best job communicating to the 28 percent of people who are undecided on the retention issue will probably win.  Right now, the anti-retention campaign is providing voters with a more substantive reason for why voters should side with them.

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How the Supreme Court Rules on Obamacare May Impact the General Election

The United States Supreme Count began hearing arguments on Monday over the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.  The oral arguments will last for three days.  The court’bs decision, which will come later this year, could significantly impact the outcome of the 2012 presidential race, not to mention the future of the country.

While conservatives wait with bated breath for the court’s decision, nobody knows for sure how the highest court in the land will come down on the matter.  President Obama’s main legislative accomplishment has been a top issue in the Republican primary.  All of the candidates have said that they would repeal it, but Rick Santorum has made the case the Mitt Romney is incapable of doing so since Romeny is responsible for enacting the predecessor to Obamacare as Governor of Massachusetts.

The U.S. Supreme Court will probably render its decision some time in late June at the end of the Court’s annual session.  That means Republicans will more than likely have selected their presidential nominee unless no candidate is able to amass the 1,144 delegates needed to claim the Republican nomination.

Regardless of who the Republican nominee is, the Supreme Court’s decision is likely to have a significant effect on the general election campaign.  In a press conference last week, Iowa Congressman Steve King said, “If the Supreme Court should find this unconstitutional, which I believe is the appropriate decision, … there is more risk that President Obama will be reelected because people will think they are protected from this egregious reach into our freedom.  If the Supreme Court finds it constitutional, then I believe Barack Obama will not be reelected because they will understand that they need to vote him out of office to repeal it.”

King’s words should serve as a warning to Republicans.  We have already seen what a small improvement in the economy has done for President Obama’s approval rating.  Conservatives would rightfully celebrate should the Supreme Court strike down Obamacare, but in doing so, Republicans could see another major issue suddenly evaporate.  Sure, having the Supreme Court deem President Obama’s main achievement unconstitutional would be embarrassing, but it takes the major issue against the President off of the table.

The other scenario that King mentions is not all that comforting for conservatives either.   If the Court upholds the individual mandate, and the Obamacare in general, Republicans will be outraged, while President Obama and Democrats will be vindicated.  That sequence of events very well could motivate Republican voters for the general election, but it depends on whether the Court’s ruling is a five to four, six to three, or an even more lopsided decision.

If the Supreme Court upholds Obamacare and the individual mandate on a five to four decision, the Republican battle cry of 2012 will be to support the nominee so that conservatives can get a fifth member on the Supreme Court.  If the decision is six to three or more lopsided in favor of upholding Obamacare, conservatives may throw their hands up in the air and ask why should they even bother?  If any of the four conservative justices, Samuel Alito, John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, or Clarence Thomas, back President Obama’s healthcare law, whoever the Republican nominee ends up being will likely bear the brunt of conservatives’ anger.

If the nominee ends up being Mitt Romney, which is the most likely outcome, such a decision could further damage the candidate who has not done well with conservatives and evangelicals even when the media has made the case that the primary is essentially over.  It is the same lot of voters that Romney has struggled to win over in the primary that could be discouraged should one of the four conservative justices side with the President’s healthcare law.

Never has a Supreme Court decision of this magnitude occurred in the midst of a presidential campaign.  The ramifications of what the Supreme Court decides are huge.  The outcome not only will dictate the main issue of the campaign, but it could also affect the enthusiasm level for both political parties.   If Republicans don’t have Obamacare and the economy to campaign on in the fall, all they may have left is high gas prices to campaign against.

Needless to say, Republicans have an awful lot riding on this one Supreme Court case.

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Findley to be Branstad’s Legal Counsel

TheIowaRepublican.com has confirmed that Brenna Findley will be announced as the legal counsel for Governor Terry Branstad later today.

On the same day that a federal judge in Virginia ruled that a critical part of the Obama Administrations healthcare reform package violates the United States Constitution, Governor-Elect Terry Branstad is set to announce that Findley, who pledged to join the lawsuit against Obamacare in her 2010 campaign for Attorney General, will fill a critical role in his administration.

Throughout the campaign, Branstad often took time to acknowledge and promote Findley’s candidacy to Iowans he encountered on the campaign trail.  Branstad also lamented over not having an Attorney General who would work with him on key issues.

In Findley, Branstad has placed a strong conservative in one of the most important positions on his staff.  Findley’s experience as Congressman Steve King’s Chief of Staff and senior legal advisor for issues before the House Judiciary Committee uniquely qualifiers her for this new role.

“Brenna Findley has a talented, sharp legal mind and her knowledge and work ethic will be valued in my administration,” Branstad said in a press release. “Her work in private sector, combined with her extensive governmental experience at the federal level, provides a strong framework to serve as legal counsel in my administration.”

Findley was born, raised, and home schooled in Dallas County.  She worked her way through Drake University by clerking in the Iowa Statehouse, and later, she graduated from the University of Chicago Law School. She spent the last seven years as Congressman King’s point person in the House Judiciary Committee.

The Judiciary Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives is the front line in America’s culture war.  There, conservatives debate with the members of the liberal left like John Conyers, Jerry Nadler, Maxine Waters, and Sheila Jackson Lee each and every day on each and every issue.

In this venue, Findley has seen and heard every liberal argument for dismantling the rule of law.  She has proven she can handle any legal distortions the best the intellectually challenged Left has to offer.  This is a great hire by the Branstad administration.

Photo by Dave Davidson