ADVERTISEMENT

Four Iowa voters filed suit yesterday in federal court to stop the dominating influence of attorneys over the system for selecting state judges in Iowa, arguing that this influence denies ordinary Iowa voters an equal voice in selecting justices for the Iowa Supreme Court.

Three Iowa Supreme Court justices lost their retention elections this November. Under Iowa law, nominations for their replacements are made by the fifteen member State Judicial Nominating Commission. Only candidates nominated by the Commission may be appointed by the Governor. Since all nominees allowed to move forward by the Commission may be opposed to the Governor, the Commission, and not the people, has complete control over who becomes a judge in Iowa. Seven of Commission members are selected in elections in which only attorneys can vote. The current system thus guarantees lawyers a far greater say than ordinary citizens in Iowa in selecting judges who have great power and control over the lives of regular citizens.

The suit asks the court to stop the elected members of the Commission from participating in the nomination process and to stop any future election restricted to attorneys. The Commission can go forward and make its nominations without attorney member participation. According to attorney James Bopp, Jr., lead counsel for the plaintiffs, the Iowa system “gives attorneys a stranglehold on the judiciary. Lawyers in Iowa have enormous influence over who the state judges are, while the ordinary voter is denied the right to an equal voice.”

The case is Carlson, et al. v. Cady, et al. The complaint and memorandum supporting the motion for a temporary restraining order are available in PDF format online at the James Madison Center’s website, www.jamesmadisoncenter.org.

Subscribe For Latest Updates

Sign up to receive stimulating conservative Christian commentary in your inbox.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Thanks for subscribing!
2 comments
  1. I would hope that lawyers would be the ones picking judges, they have experience in the judical system and would know what to look for. There’s a reason we let experts have more authority in their field of interest. It’s the same reason we don’t have people vote for safety regulations of airplanes — leave it to the experts.

    1. Yes, the liberal lawyers controlled by the Iowa Bar Association. Please, like there is no inherent conflict of interest there. We don’t even have that at the Federal level.

Comments are closed.

You May Also Like

Reynolds Appoints Dr. Ann Lebo to Lead the Iowa Department of Education

Gov. Kim Reynolds announced that Dr. Ann Lebo, executive director of the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners, will lead the Iowa Department of Education.

Iowa Finance Authority Audit Shows No Misconduct, But Questionable Local Hotel Stays

A review of the Iowa Finance Authority by Eide Bailly LLP showed no evidence of fiscal misconduct, but showed former director Dave Jamison had several local hotel stays.

Four U.S. Senate Candidates Say No to Syria; One Says No to Voluntary Term Limits

Four U.S. Senate candidates attending the Polk County GOP picnic opposed military action in Syria. Only three pledged to term-limit themselves if elected.

Ernst: U.S. Must Remain Vigilant Against Iran

U.S. Senator Joni Ernst: “We must continue our maximum pressure campaign against the Iranian regime and remain vigilant against the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism.”