Grade 10 Government Class

As you might expect, the Iowa Supreme Court ruling overturning the state's ban on same-sex marriage didn't sit well with the wingnuts in the Hawkeye State. Gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats says that if he's elected, he'll issue an executive order overturning the court's ruling.
Several lawmakers and Phil Roeder, a spokesman for Gov. Chet Culver, said the governor doesn’t have that power.

“Governors in Iowa do not have the ability to prevent or overturn a decision of the Supreme Court through an executive order,” Roeder said. “It’s disappointing that some people, especially politicians, would try to mislead the public into thinking that governors do have such power.”

Vander Plaats said in a telephone interview he would try the executive order approach anyway - and thinks Culver should try it now.

“Who is to balance the courts?” he said. “Who says the courts get the final say?”
Um, that would be the Iowa Constitution. Remember that thing you swore an oath to uphold? It was in all the papers.

And then there's the matter of whether or not the ruling of the Supreme Court is anything more than an opinion.
Co-founder of Everyday America, Bill Salier, told the crowd that state lawmakers need to thank the Supreme Court justices for their opinion but say it's merely opinion and the law is still on the books.

Salier said: "(Lawmakers) can face down the court and say, 'We passed DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act. You claim that it is stricken. And yet unless some magic eraser came down from the sky, it's still in code.'"
I don't know about a "magic eraser" -- is that anything like the "magic sky faerie"? -- but the Iowa Constitution is pretty clear that yes, the state Supreme Court does have the power to do just that:
The supreme court shall have appellate jurisdiction only in cases in chancery, and shall constitute a court for the correction of errors at law, under such restrictions as the general assembly may, by law, prescribe; and shall have power to issue all writs and process necessary to secure justice to parties, and shall exercise a supervisory and administrative control over all inferior judicial tribunals throughout the state.
And by that I assume the court has the right to enforce the state's Bill of Rights, which includes Article 1, Section 1:
Rights of persons. SECTION 1. All men and women are, by nature, free and equal, and have certain inalienable rights - among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness.
I know a couple of people who teach in the public school systems in the state of Iowa, and they are great teachers, so I'm sure they would have covered this basic information in high school. There's no excuse for anyone running for the office of governor in that state not to have a basic grasp of the state's foundation of law. The same goes for Mr. Salier, who presumes to speak for "everyday America."

So either these people are too stupid to not understand the basics of government, in which case they have no business running for any public office beyond village idiot, or they are willfully ignoring the rulings of the state court. In either case, they should be kept as far away from the levers of power as possible, and it might not be a bad idea if they went back to high school.

HT to Steve Benen.

Cross-posted from Bark Bark Woof Woof.

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