Hull Legislator Again Proposes Docking Pay of Supreme Court Justices

Date posted - May 3, 2013

Dwayne AlonsDes Moines, Iowa —¬†For the second time in five years, a northwest Iowa legislator has proposed docking the pay of Iowa Supreme Court justices, then tabled his plan before a vote could be taken. Representative Dwayne Alons, a Republican from Hull, is a critic of the court’s 2009 ruling that paved the way for same-sex marriage in Iowa.

(as said) “We are standing on the sideline allowing the rule of law to be, basically, ignored and we’re allowing an oligarchy type of situation to rule and to reign in this state,” Alons said.

Representative Tom Shaw, a Republican from Laurens, says the legislature has failed to keep the court “in check” after that 2009 same-sex marriage ruling.

(as said) “What we have here, when we have failed to maintain the checks and balances, we have almost a constitutional crisis here,” Shaw said. “We have a court that says we have the power to do this because we say we have the power.”

Shaw says legislators have an “obligation” to act, but Alons voluntarily tabled his proposal to dock the justices’ pay before the House could vote on it Thursday afternoon.

(as said) “I believe this vehicle to do this is not exactly the right way to attack it,” Alons said.

Alons did not say what avenue he might pursue in the future. Alons and Shaw made their comments during House debate of a bill that outlines spending plans for the judicial branch of state government. The House approved the bill by an overwhelming 91 to three vote.

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3 Responses to “Hull Legislator Again Proposes Docking Pay of Supreme Court Justices”

  1. Chad says:

    How about we start docking pay for all elected officials until they actually start getting things done.

  2. Jon says:

    If our legislature crafts laws that fail to uphold the constitution of this state, the judicial branch IS the appropriate vehicle to void laws that obstruct the application and intent of the constitution. Perhaps it would also be appropriate for the legislators propose laws that allow their constituents to have input in their salaries, and when they propose laws that we do not agree with or that we find to be a waste of time, we can dock their salaries as well. As much as Alons would like to wrap his logic around a sound defense of checks and balances, the reality is that this entire issue arose because of a legislative abuse of the state’s constitution in regards to the protections it guarantees to citizens of this state and the court’s decision represents a judicial check on the legislature’s abuse of power. In the end, this proposal amounts to nothing more than an adult temper tantrum. It’s interesting that this article appears the same day that another unanimous supreme court decision which has said that lesbian parents of children born with in vitro fertilization should both be able to be listed on the birth certificate of the child in order to offer legal protection to both the child and the parents. Note that this second unanimous decision was made by justices appointed after “judicial overreach” in the Varnum decision…this “new and improved court” has also affirmed the legal rights of same sex couples. I guess we’ll have to dock all the justices pay, even those who didn’t rule in Varnum. We can punish them until their rulings conform to the whim and will of a particular angry legislator. That to me doesn’t seem much like the type of government we want in this great democratic republic.

  3. Sad Republican says:

    Alons’ actions here make me sick.

    What a joke… for the second year in a row he has pulled this stunt and introduced this ridiculous proposal, only to pull it before a vote on the issue. He clearly knows he has no support for such an action, but is merely doing this as a publicity stunt to cow-tow to the religious right… i.e. his constituents. However, I am in his district and I am a republican, however I can not support these types of actions taken by Alons and counterparts like Vander Plaats… what jokers. They should step aside from politics and not put forth such self promoting ideas such as this.

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