It is too early to know whether Iowa's four remaining Supreme Court justices are in danger of being targeted by well-financed campaigns like the one that swept three colleagues off the bench this week, people who study retention votes say.
But Bob Vander Plaats, a leader of the pro-removal Iowa for Freedom campaign, said he doubted that he would lead a charge against any other justices over the court's 2009 ruling that ruled as discriminatory an Iowa law that limited marriage to a man and a woman.
"I think there are people in Iowa who will want to hold those justices accountable," he said. "I'm not so sure I will be the one spearheading that charge. I'll be available for advice and counsel, but I don't think I'll be spearheading that charge."
Voters this week rejected keeping Chief Justice Marsha Ternus and Justices David Baker and Michael Streit. This was the first removal of any justice since Iowa switched from popular elections of justices to the merit selection and retention system in 1962.
Election-watchers say the three fell victim to a perfect storm: a retention vote coming little more than a year after their controversial ruling, a strong anti-incumbent mood among voters, and an $800,000 removal campaign that began early and outspent the pro-retention counter efforts.