If voters don’t agree with a judge’s interpretation of the law, does that give them the right to vote them off the bench? Tim Pawlenty sure thinks so.
The Minnesota governor, who’s not seeking a third term and is floating the idea of a presidential run, has no problem with voters, say, using their pull to remove the Iowa Supreme Court justices whom voted to legalize same-sex marriage in the state. And while it seems pretty horrendous that any voter would remove a sitting justice that chose to end discrimination instead of support it, if the system permits voter-backed dismissals, then yeah, voters should be able to do as they please with their judges even if they’re jerks about it.
But it’s foolish to think Pawlenty is on the right side of this battle: He openly admits he wants to appoint conservative judges who don’t legislate from the bench with their own personal opinions. And while the legal system’s definition of “conservative” and “liberal” differs from the political meanings, you can guess which one Pawlenty really means.