A resolution intended to amend the Iowa Constitution is officially making its way through the Iowa Legislative process.
District 24 Senator Jerry Behn says Senate Resolution 9 aims to amend the state’s constitution to prevent unelected judges from writing a right to an abortion into the Iowa Constitution and instead gives the decision-making powers to the legislative body, which he says is made up of individuals elected by the people of Iowa. Behn notes that during discussions on the topic, a judge said the state’s constitution is a living, breathing document that is meant to be changed and interpreted by them in the judicial system.
“Well I would argue that that is an activist position. If that was true that it was a living, breathing and that the (Iowa) Supreme Court could just interpret it anyway they jolly well please, there would be no reason to have an amendment process. The rationale for an amendment process is if you don’t like what the constitution says, then take it before the people and change it. It’s not up to a judge to interpret it different than it’s been interpreted for 100 some odd years and then all-of-a-sudden just discover something there was never there.”
Behn adds that the resolution made it out of the judicial subcommittee last week and it will now to go the full committee before it heads to the full Senate for debate. If it passes both the Senate and House this year, it must pass exactly the same during next year’s legislative session and then it must be voted on by the people of Iowa before the amendment can be added to the constitution. To hear more from Behn on this and other topics from last week’s session, listen to today’s Community State Bank in Paton Let’s Talk Greene County program.