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Branstad attorney asks Iowa Supreme Court to stop trial

Terry Branstad

Branstad and two former staff members were sued by former Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner Christopher Godfrey, who claims he was pressured to quit after Branstad took over as governor in 2010 and cut his pay cut by a third. Godfrey claims it was because he’s gay. Branstad denies he knew Godfrey was gay.

An eight-person is hearing the case in Polk County District Court.

Branstad attorney Frank Harty says in a document filed with the Supreme Court Thursday that the trial judge is allowing Godfrey to put on trial Branstad’s positions on gay marriage and the Republican Party’s “anti-gay” views.

Harty says such a trial violates free speech rights of Branstad and all Iowans by chilling political speech. He says the trial should be stopped and the constitutional claims considered.

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