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Mason City Human Rights Commission: Iowans Must Preserve Iowaís Independent Judiciary

Iowans should vote to retain the Iowa Supreme Court Justices in this year’s election, according to the Mason City Human Rights Commission.|(Press release from the Mason City Human Rights Commission)

Iowa’s judicial system is one of the finest in the nation. Iowa’s courts are ranked 4th in judge’s impartiality and 5th in best courts overall b
y the US Chamber of Commerce. Iowa’s merit selection and retention process keeps politics and campaign money out of our courts, safeguarding its fairness and impartiality.

However, with the US Supreme Court that corporations may donate campaign contributions to elected officials, such donations could undercut our justice system. Iowa’s current system is under assault simply because a disgruntled segment of the population disagrees with one decision (Varnum v Brien) out of the thousands of cases heard annually in the Iowa court system. Newspaper reports around the state Supreme Court justices on this year’s retention ballot. Another 71 judges are on the retention ballot across the state.

A statewide coalition, Justice, Not Politics, has been formed of Iowans from all political perspectives, including Republicans and Democrats, to resist efforts to politicize our court system. As Director of the Mason City Human Rights Commission I oppose changing the current judicial selection process because it has served us well.

Iowa courts historical have protected average citizens rights. Agencies as the Mason City Human Rights Commission go to the courts from time to time and depend on fair and unbiased rulings. All parties can accept the decision knowing that the judge’s ruling is based on the law, and not a campaign
contribution. It is unquestioned that all of the judges in the North Iowa 2nd Judicial District are individuals we can trust to render impartial and unbiased decisions.

In those states where judges are elected, $206 million was collected by state Supreme Court candidates between 2000 to 2009. In just a single State Supr
eme Court race in Michigan this year, more than $10 million already has been sent. If politics and campaign money are allowed into the courts, justice will be on the auction block to the highest bidder. Make no mistake that money and politics make bad bedfellows, as he has been in our federal congressional elections across the country.

We must stand against the influence of politics and special interest groups that would alter Iowa’s highly-regarded merit selection and retention system. Help us preserve Iowa’s independent judicaiary. I urge local residents to learn more about judicial retention, how courts are held accountable, and how judges are rated by lawyers who appear before them. Please visit the “Justice, Not Politics” coalition website: for more information. Be sure to turn the ballot over to see the judges up for retention and vote yes

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