Thursday, June 22, 2017

Iowa Chief Justice Bans Weapons

Iowa Chief Justice Mark Cady

On 14 April, 2017, Governor Terry Branson signed HF 517, a comprehensive law to reform Iowa's antique weapons restrictions. Part of the law was to require uniform firearm laws across the state. Local restrictions on the carry of weapons were eliminated.

On 19 June, 2017, the Chief Justice of the Iowa Supreme Court banned all weapons in county courthouses. The ban did not include peace officers on duty.

The claimed reason for the order was to institute a comprehensive and uniform statewide policy prohibiting weapons in court houses. Iowa had a mix of counties that prohibited weapons in courthouses, counties where weapons were prohibited by the chief judge in the county, and counties that did not prohibit weapons.  From
The Chief Justice of the Iowa Supreme Court issued an order today banning guns from all courthouses.

Chief Justice Mark Cady says in his order that after reviewing the policies on guns across the state he found 44 of the 99 counties prohibit weapons in courthouses, 11 prohibit them in all county building sand sixteen prohibit weapons on in areas controlled by the judicial branch. 
From the order
Accordingly, under our constitutional authority and responsibility to supervise and administer Iowa’s district courts, the supreme court now orders that all weapons are prohibited from courtrooms, court-controlled spaces, and public areas of courthouses and other justice centers occupied by the court system. This order does not affect the authority of county or city officials to determine appropriate employment policies for their employees in county and city offices located in courthouses and other justice centers. This order also does not affect the authority of peace officers to carry weapons in courthouses and justice centers while performing law enforcement duties. The chief judge of each judicial district is authorized to work with county and city officials as well as courthouse and public building security committees to develop additional policies and procedures necessary to implement this supervisory order. This order applies to the Judicial Branch Building.

Dated this 19th day of June, 2017.
 It is legal for the Chief Justice of Iowa to do this, because the Iowa courts are a separate and co-equal branch of the Iowa government, not a lower level of government such as county, town, and city governments.

A similar situation occurred in Arizona in the 1990's.  Early in the 1990's I could and did carry weapons into the county court house without any problems. I seldom carried into a court room, because I had no reason to go there.

A notorious double murder was committed in the County, and the Chief Justice banned citizens from carrying weapons in the court house. The Chief Justice was well known for his anti-Second Amendment proclivities. Metal detectors and armed guards were installed, at considerable expense.

After the trial, they were kept in place. The Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court issued a very similar order to that of the Iowa Chief Justice, except that he left the issue up to the county chief justices.

The separation of powers is an integral part of the checks and balances that keep the state and federal governments from becoming tyrannical. The difficulties that banning people from exercising Second Amendment rights in Courthouses versus court rooms can be mitigated.  Arizona requires public buildings that ban the carry of guns have facilities to "check" carried guns.

Such a system could be implemented in Iowa, if the legislature so desires.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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Anonymous said...

No judicial officer has the authority to create law from the bench. that judge needs to be impeached. judges have no authority to change laws. it is the authority of the state legislature to pass laws and it is the duty of judicial officer to enforce those laws as written. Only when a law is challenged as unconstitutional can the court step in and make a ruling determined by constitutional authority for the law to exist. the entire law can be nullified for unconstitutional flaws but judges have no authority to modify laws. the legislature tells the courts what the law is the courts do not tell the legislature what the law is. the state legislature needs to impeach that judge for violating his oath of office. there is no authority for the judge to correct what the legislature determines is sound law. it would have to state in the state constitution that courts property is exempt. Activist judges all across this country are a major problem. read judicial duties and authority in American jurisprudence volume 16 second edition.

DamnYankee said...

"It is legal for the Chief Justice of IA to do this ..."

I hope that's not a legal opinion! Because Anon's got the judge's number on this one! Judges act as G*D, and think they can do anything they fancy. They routinely harass, threaten, and even jail grass-root-activists merely handing out FIJA (Fully Informed Juror Association) pamphlets on public streets in front of courthouses. Judges are terrified of push back in any form.

As the article points out, no 'gun check' has yet been established in IA to allow carry between parking/courthouse. What about potential jurors, or others visiting a courthouse? Should they be defenseless as they walk? Should they leave their guns home - rather than risk theft from their vehicles - and be defenseless the entire trip?

NO judge must ever be allowed to exercise this level of control over the life of anyone.

Anonymous said...

There is also conflicting authority in the federal courts. The only federal court created by the constitution is the Supreme Court. All other federal courts are created by congress. But some of the rules governing federal courts are dictated by the Supreme Court, unless, or until, congress has legislated them.

When congress does want to involve itself, to carry out structural and/or procedural reform in the federal courts, long overdue, the process begins in the Senate and House Judiciary committees. Importantly, there are organizations that oversee regular operations, that are half in and half out of the judicial branch. Things such as sentencing guidelines, case assignments, and discipline that does not rise to the level of impeachment.

Anonymous said...

According to the constitution a president may Be impeached (charged) and removed (convicted for high crimes (felonies) and or misdemeanors (low crimes) including misbehavior. Obama should have been impeached and removed when he went to Germany and declared we are no longer a Christian nation. in the Sisters of Trinity case USSC 1892. the supreme court declared we are a Christian nation. supreme court rulings are law, that means Obama violated the law or misbehaved. he over ruled the court.

Anonymous said...

Read the law carefully Impeachment and removal are tided together, they can not be separated If charged and convicted you must be removed from office. Once charged the trial must follow. No plea bargain. Impeachment is for crimes against the people or the constitution or the country. Bill Clinton was impeached but not removed he made a plea bargain he gave up his license to practice law to avoid a trial. it was unconstitutional. If he had been tried the Clinton foundation would never have existed. at least he could not have had his hands in it. to be tried and removed has the same penalties as a felony conviction. he would not have a pension, the right to vote or carry a gun under current law. He could never hold office a gain or receive any money from government revenue. He would live a life of disgrace for violating the public trust.