Since this was the first time that a justice of the Iowa Supreme Court was voted off the bench in nearly half a century, it is very doubtful that there was never an "unpopular" court decision in all that time. The media spin about "unpopular" decisions sidesteps the far more important question of whether the judges usurped powers that were never given to them by the Constitution.
As for judicial "independence," that does not mean being independent of the laws. Being a judge does not mean being given arbitrary powers to enact the liberal agenda from the bench, which means depriving the citizens of their most basic rights that define a free and self-governing people.
While removing three state Supreme Court justices at one time in Iowa is news today, the very same thing happened in California back in the 1970s. Every single death penalty imposed by a trial court in California was overturned by the state Supreme Court, with Chief Justice Rose Bird voting 64 times in a row that there was something wrong with the way each trial had been conducted. That was world-class chutzpa.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that Arizona does not have a right to require proof of citizenship before someone can vote. Where does it say that in the Constitution?
The time is long overdue to stop treating judges like sacred cows, especially when they have so much bull.