Reaction to chief: match to tinder box

Chief Justice Mark Cady delivered the annual “Condition of the Judiciary” address this morning.  After the speech, legislators and others offered their commentaries, although a few key lawmakers offered a mere “no comment.” 

…State Senator Kent Sorenson, a Republican from Indianola, is among Cady’s critics. ”He threw a match on the tinder box, in my opinion,” Sorenson said after the speech.  “…I think he made a foolish mistake by addressing this issue in front of the chamber and I wouldn’t have done it if I was him.”

Three rookie Republicans in the Iowa House who are drafting articles of impeachment refused to comment after the speech. Sorenson suggests impeachment is more rather than less likely after Cady’s remarks this morning.

“I would have let sleeping dogs lie,” Sorenson said. “But obviously he wanted to throw it out there for everybody and I think he made a grave mistake.”

Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal wore a sticker that said, “Support our Courts” during the address. “I thought it was a great speech,” Gronstal said. “I thought it was something that corrected some of the misperceptions amongst the public about the role of the courts and what their job is.”

House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, a Republican from Hiawatha who is an attorney, isn’t sure what impact Cady’s speech may have on the move to impeach Cady and the other justices.

“I thought his speech was thoughtful.  I thought it was good,” Paulsen told reporters immediately after Cady’s address. “He stood up for his branch of government. That’s his job.”

Two former lieutenant governors who were involved in the unsuccessful effort to retain the three Supreme Court justices who were voted off the bench last year attended today’s speech.  Republican Joy Corning served two terms as Terry Branstad’s lieutenant governor.”I think there’s going to be conversation in (the House) about impeachment,” Corning told reporters. “But I do not think it will go any place.”

Democrat Sally Pederson served two terms as Tom Vilsack’s lieutenant governor. ”My own point of view is that talk of impeachment is recklessand really very detrimental to the work of the legislature,” Pederson told reporters.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.