By Stacey C. Rogers

Honorable Chief Justice Cady:

Last May, my parents, grandmother, sister, and aunt traveled to celebrate my law school graduation. When you delivered the commencement address, they expressed surprise and disappointment with the political nature of your speech.

Months later, friends and I attended your State of the Judiciary Address expecting to hear you inform the Joint Session about the Judiciary’s budgetary and administrative needs, and we were again shocked and disappointed that the forum was used for political purposes.

On Thursday, you will preside over the mandatory swearing-in ceremony that completes the final step in my journey toward becoming a member of the Iowa bar. Last year’s ceremony, much like my law school commencement and the State of the Judiciary, was used as a political forum. Last year’s ceremony was used to stump for retention of the justices who were on the ballot last November. The newly-minted attorneys sat in awe as the list of “10 Things You Must Do to Become a Successful Attorney,” turned political when the most important “must” turned out to be “vote yes to retain the judges.”

As I take my oath this Thursday, my parents and friends will once again be in attendance. I fear they won’t respect my decision to enter into this traditionally noble field if the significance of the occasion is again overshadowed by partisan politics. They have all sacrificed to see me become a practicing lawyer in Iowa, and it is important to me that nothing undermines their sacrifices or their respect for my chosen profession. They understand the judiciary as an apolitical branch dedicated to justice, objectivity, and evenhanded debate, not an institution that exists purely to advance a single point of view to a malleable and captive audience.

I sincerely hope this Thursday’s mandatory swearing-in ceremony will not be used as another occasion to promote a political agenda at an apolitical event. I know I risk appearing petulant or disrespectful in making this request of someone so much my senior, but I am sincerely and humbly begging you to protect my faith in the integrity of this profession and the idea that the judicial branch is above political posturing.

I beg you to act as an objective judge, to simply administer the oath, and to not use the forum as a pulpit from which you expose a legally captive audience to a particular political philosophy. If you choose to use the forum to groom a new class of attorneys, remind us of what we must do to uphold the laws, not what you think we should do to further a divisive set of ideals.

Remind us to respect the power of the law, but do not, as you have before, advocate for courts as a moral instrument of “progress,” for the moral direction of society is ultimately decided by we the people, not by the courts or the legal elites.

Remind us of the legal foundations of our society, but do not, as you have before, advocate for “social justice,” for the justice I will defend in my career is the objective rule of law.

I have taken a solemn oath to uphold the Constitution three times before: once before working in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, once before admission to the Colorado Bar, and once before working in the Iowa Senate. This Thursday as I take the oath the fourth time, I will again swear before my family, my peers, and my holy and righteous God to uphold the Constitution and the laws of our great State.

I only ask that you make that moment as enjoyable as possible for the new members of the bar and their families by refraining from again surrounding an apolitical, historical moment with divisive political advocacy.


Stacey C. Rogers

Stacey C. Rogers is a recent law school graduate from the University of Iowa School of Law.  She is currently a clerk for State Senator Mark Chelgren (R-Ottumwa) and recently worked with Dave Funk’s Congressional Campaign in Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District.


  1. Dear Stacy,
    Justice Cady should give as much attention to another “Special Class” on people as he did in Varnum.
    Victims of Pharmaceutical Poisonings and Medical Error Victims. There is one very special older private practice attorney in Chariton, Iowa who brought forth one of the most far reaching cases in Iowa History.
    I am the 60 year old mother of Bryan Ranes. I am absolutely terrified, exhausted and fear I shall not survive to see justice for my son. My husband and I raised two fine sons. One is an Electrical Engineer in Des Moines. The other was the victim of a horrific nondisclosed 33 day poisoning by a prescription 16 months pass FDA public warning and 10 months past FDACDER approval of reformulation. Every local coach, would tell you Bryan Ranes was one of the greatest drug-free athletes to graduate from Centerville High School. He was awarded the U.S. Presidential Physical Fitness award, which rated him among the top 5 percent of his age group nationwide.

    The following facts became known to us 33 days after Bryan, age 26, in 2002 was sold Aquatab C, when Bryan himself discovered an internet web page titled FDA Public Warning on Phenylpropanolamine after he typed in the word “Aquatab C”
    The true story begins,
    Bryan Ranes was in prefect health other than a sore throat. He went to an ENT. ENT wrote “Aquatab C’ on prescription.
    Our pharmacy did not have any. Borrowed it locally. Loaning pharmacy had old version still available.
    Mystery (?) Diagnosis. I think not. 60 medical or pharmacy contacts in 33 days. I suspect the old prescription was being tunneled through Medicaid, although Bryan was private pay. God, works in mysterious ways, doesn’t he?

    Around the 10th day of his 33 day poisoning Bryan began to hear a dripping noise in his head. Not all brain injury will show up on CT or MRI. Most patients do not survive an ischemic injury to the brainstem. Most of those who survive cannot speak or are “locked-in” only able to blink their eyes. Bryan can and will speak out about Justice Cady’s fabulously flawed decision in Ranes v Adams Labs Inc., McKesson, Hy-Vee, Owl, 2 pharmacist and the ENT.

    Cady allowed Summary Judgment to the defendants by ruling Dr. Mark Thoman, Captain U.S. Navy Reserves, retired, a world known medical toxicologist and Medical Director of the Iowa Poison Control Center for 28 years
    opinion on causation was “Unreliable” even though Dr. Thoman is qualified.

    So called Daubert decision was made without hearings. Ranes decision is in contrast to Federal cases.
    Petition for a Case of Equity has been filed. Daubert violates plaintiffs 7th Amendment right to a trial by a jury of one’s peers. The dripping/ticking noise Bryan heard was palatal myoclonus, a movement disorder, please see Video at YouTube Bryan Ranes.

    Internet DEA report for February 25, 2004 verifies Adams Labs Inc. products were showing up in clandestine methamphetamine labs across the nation around 2001. They received at least 3 warning letters prior to telling their lesser known distributors Wildcat and OTC to stop selling products to a respondent in the Branex investigation.

    You as an Iowa taxpayer should not be held responsible for providing Medicare and Medicaid services to Bryan Ranes for the rest of his young life. Please, I beg you, share this story with everyone you know.

    There will never be justice for victims of medical errors until the Judges are required by law to find causation by the chronology of the patient/plaintiffs diagnosis as verified by the insurance billing codes.

    The defendants “fried” by drug-free son and I am mad as H—. Nine years and not a single day in court

    Thanks for listening.

    Dianne Ranes

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