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The Senate has passed a proposed constitutional amendment stating that there is no right to an abortion in the Iowa Constitution. Unelected supreme court judges ruled two years ago that the right exists in our Constitution even though the word abortion does not appear in it anywhere.

The Iowa Constitution does state that “All political power is inherent in the people.” The only way we have to allow the people to decide this issue is bypassing a proposed amendment as we did. If the House also passes the proposal, and both chambers pass it in the next session, the people of Iowa will get the right to vote on whether they want to put this provision into our Constitution, making clear that there is no right to an abortion in our Constitution.

I was surprised to see that the majority of the Supreme Court in the abortion decision admitted that they were not following the intent of those who wrote our Constitution. In the majority decision the Court stated, “Our constitution recognizes the ever-evolving nature of society, and thus, our inquiry cannot be cabined within the limited vantage point of the past.” It also stated, Our constitutional doctrines “are not necessarily static, and [our analysis] instead considers current prevailing standards that draw their ‘meaning from the evolving standards . . . that mark the progress of a maturing society.’” We do not have a Constitution if it can be changed at any time by a court applying its idea of “evolving standards that mark the progress of a maturing society.”

I should state that the current supreme court is made up of several new members, two of whom dissented in the case I described above. The current court may not be so inclined to change the meaning of constitutional provisions based on “evolving standards.”
School Discipline

My bill to make protections to school boards, school volunteers and schools themselves as legal entities, the same as there is currently for teachers, when they are confronted with disruptive students, is being considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill gives immunity from a civil or criminal liability if school personnel come into physical contact with a student and the contact “is reasonable under the circumstances and involves the following:

a. Encouraging, supporting, or disciplining the student. b. Protecting the employee, the student, or other students. c. Obtaining possession of a weapon or other dangerous object within a student’s control. d. Protecting employee, student, or school property. e. Quelling a disturbance or preventing an act threatening physical harm to any person. f. Removing a disruptive student from class or any area of the school premises, or from school-sponsored activities off school premises. g. Preventing a student from the self-infliction of harm. h. Self-defense. i. Any other legitimate educational activity.”

Julian Garrett

Author: Julian Garrett