Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins was famously silent in the fight last November about whether he should keep his job.
In Iowa, citizens vote on whether to retain judges and conservative activists had launched a “No” campaign against Wiggins for his part in the 2010 decision to throw out Iowa’s traditional marriage law. Wiggins ended up earning retention, but he didn’t play a part in that, insisting judges in Iowa shouldn’t campaign.
He visited high schoolers in Iowa City last week and brushed me off when I tried to ask about last year’s retention election: “I don’t talk about that. … It’s done and done. I didn’t campaign before and I’m not campaigning now. People voted the way they did and that’s how it turned out.”
He opened up a little bit when students asked about the election. He didn’t talk about gay marriage specifically, but he generally rejected the idea that majorities can restrict rights: “That’s probably what this last retention election was about and the one before: how can this unelected court go against the will of the majority and decide an issue that should be left up to the majority? The problem is that’s the whole function of a court — to make sure they don’t take away your rights.”
Later, he offered another reason he wasn’t involved in his retention election: “If the people of Iowa don’t retain me, I’ll go practice law. I can actually make more money practicing law.”
Video: Watch Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins talk about judicial retention