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In the News: Candidate ad misrepresents bar association role
Submitted by matty on Fri, 2012-05-25 11:42
from The Des Moines Register.
A political radio ad supporting Jeff Mullen’s candidacy for a state Senate seat in District 22 being aired on WHO Radio states in part: “Pat Ward is endorsed by the left wing Iowa State Bar Association, the people who gave us a radical Supreme Court and gay marriage.”
That statement is false and defamatory and on May 23, the Iowa State Bar Association respectfully requested that Mullen immediately retract it from his radio ad.
The Iowa State Bar Association did not “give” the state of Iowa a “radical Supreme Court.” As provided by Iowa’s constitutionally mandated merit selection system, all seven justices of the Iowa Supreme Court, as well as all other judges in Iowa, are appointed by the governor on the basis of merit, after first being nominated by a judicial nominating commission composed of an equal number of lay and lawyer members.
The Iowa State Bar Association does not nominate or appoint the lawyer members to any judicial nominating commissions. The lawyer members are elected by the lawyers in their respective judicial districts. They are not required to belong to the Iowa State Bar Association in order to serve on a judicial nominating commission. The governor appoints the lay members to judicial nominating commissions. Iowa’s merit selection process has produced a highly qualified judiciary that is consistently ranked among the best in our country by the National Chamber of Commerce.
The Iowa State Bar Association did not “give” Iowa “gay marriage.” Rather, the Iowa Supreme Court determined that an Iowa law limiting marriage to a man and a woman was unconstitutional because it violated Iowa’s equal protection clause in its state constitution.
— Robert Waterman, Davenport, president, Iowa State Bar Association