Ousted Iowa Justices who legalized gay marriage to be honored by Kennedy family for 'political courage'

Three ousted Iowa Supreme Court Justices whom outraged voters removed from office, after they legalized same-sex marriage in 2010, are being honored today by the Kennedy family for their "political courage."

Former justices Marsha Ternus, Michael Streit and David Baker "will be awarded the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award" for having ruled that a 1998 state law limiting marriage to a man and woman was unconstitutional, the Des Moines Register reported.
 
"The award, billed as the nation's most prestigious honor for public servants, was created in 1989 by Kennedy's family as a way to highlight political courage the former president admired."
 
So how come Iowa voters kicked the judges out of office? Voters believed the state's legislature -- not its Supreme Court -- ought to have the final say on same-sex marriage in Iowa. The Supreme Court nevertheless ruled otherwise, declaring Iowa's same-sex marriage law violated the state's "constitutional rights of equal protection."
 
"We are firmly convinced the exclusion of gay and lesbian people from the institution of civil marriage does not substantially further any important governmental objective," the Supreme Court wrote.
 
The same-sex marriage law, it explained, had "excluded a historically disfavored class of persons from a supremely important civil institution without a constitutionally sufficient justification."
 
Ruling otherwise, the court concluded, "would be an abdication of our constitutional duty."
 
But voters felt the Supreme Court's decision, just as the Kennedy award implies, was entirely political. And ultimately, ousting the justices was the only recourse voters had. As the Associated Press noted at the time: "The county attorney who defended the (same-sex marriage) law said he would not seek a rehearing. The only recourse for opponents appeared to be a constitutional amendment, which could take years to ratify."
 
President John F. Kennedy's only surviving child, Caroline Kennedy, will be presenting the "Profiles in Courage Award" as the John F. Kennedy Library & Museum in Boston. The award, as the Associated Press explained, consists of "a sterling silver ship's lantern symbolizing a beacon of hope. The award, which was designed by Kennedy's husband, Edwin Schlossberg, and crafted by Tiffany & Co., resembles one belonging to the U.S. Navy's oldest commissioned warship, the USS Constitution, or 'Old Ironsides.'"
 
Speaking to the Associated Press, Kennedy said, "The three judges are interesting and courageous on many levels. "... Like many of the people who get this award, they don't consider that they are doing anything particularly courageous, they just feel they're doing what's right, they're doing their job."
 
Kennedy added that the justices "knew when they were writing this decision that it was gonna be a pioneering decision and a landmark decision and would face a lot of popular opposition. They also were following very carefully the Iowa constitution and the rights that it gives to its citizens."
 
Has Kennedy, a lawyer, even read Iowa's constitution? It's doubtful. Ultimately, what the Kennedy family calls "political courage" would be more aptly called "judicial vanity." And if Iowans succeed in eventually making constitutional changes that again ban same-sex marriage, don't expect the Kennedy family to be honoring any Iowans responsible for that effort with a "Profiles in Courage Award" -- even though they'll have to endure a gauntlet of hate-filled liberals taunts of being bigoted homophobes.
 
Kennedy made a wise decision to give the award in Boston -- a place where Iowa's smug judicial elites will feel right at home with Boston's smug liberal elites.

Three ousted Iowa Supreme Court Justices whom outraged voters removed from office, after they legalized same-sex marriage in 2010, are being honored today by the Kennedy family for their "political courage."

Former justices Marsha Ternus, Michael Streit and David Baker "will be awarded the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award" for having ruled that a 1998 state law limiting marriage to a man and woman was unconstitutional, the Des Moines Register reported.
 
"The award, billed as the nation's most prestigious honor for public servants, was created in 1989 by Kennedy's family as a way to highlight political courage the former president admired."
 
So how come Iowa voters kicked the judges out of office? Voters believed the state's legislature -- not its Supreme Court -- ought to have the final say on same-sex marriage in Iowa. The Supreme Court nevertheless ruled otherwise, declaring Iowa's same-sex marriage law violated the state's "constitutional rights of equal protection."
 
"We are firmly convinced the exclusion of gay and lesbian people from the institution of civil marriage does not substantially further any important governmental objective," the Supreme Court wrote.
 
The same-sex marriage law, it explained, had "excluded a historically disfavored class of persons from a supremely important civil institution without a constitutionally sufficient justification."
 
Ruling otherwise, the court concluded, "would be an abdication of our constitutional duty."
 
But voters felt the Supreme Court's decision, just as the Kennedy award implies, was entirely political. And ultimately, ousting the justices was the only recourse voters had. As the Associated Press noted at the time: "The county attorney who defended the (same-sex marriage) law said he would not seek a rehearing. The only recourse for opponents appeared to be a constitutional amendment, which could take years to ratify."
 
President John F. Kennedy's only surviving child, Caroline Kennedy, will be presenting the "Profiles in Courage Award" as the John F. Kennedy Library & Museum in Boston. The award, as the Associated Press explained, consists of "a sterling silver ship's lantern symbolizing a beacon of hope. The award, which was designed by Kennedy's husband, Edwin Schlossberg, and crafted by Tiffany & Co., resembles one belonging to the U.S. Navy's oldest commissioned warship, the USS Constitution, or 'Old Ironsides.'"
 
Speaking to the Associated Press, Kennedy said, "The three judges are interesting and courageous on many levels. "... Like many of the people who get this award, they don't consider that they are doing anything particularly courageous, they just feel they're doing what's right, they're doing their job."
 
Kennedy added that the justices "knew when they were writing this decision that it was gonna be a pioneering decision and a landmark decision and would face a lot of popular opposition. They also were following very carefully the Iowa constitution and the rights that it gives to its citizens."
 
Has Kennedy, a lawyer, even read Iowa's constitution? It's doubtful. Ultimately, what the Kennedy family calls "political courage" would be more aptly called "judicial vanity." And if Iowans succeed in eventually making constitutional changes that again ban same-sex marriage, don't expect the Kennedy family to be honoring any Iowans responsible for that effort with a "Profiles in Courage Award" -- even though they'll have to endure a gauntlet of hate-filled liberals taunts of being bigoted homophobes.
 
Kennedy made a wise decision to give the award in Boston -- a place where Iowa's smug judicial elites will feel right at home with Boston's smug liberal elites.


RECENT VIDEOS