Iowa Bar weighs in on judicial selection process

A lawsuit was filed last week, challenging the process by which judges and justices are selected for Iowa’s court system.  The suit complains about the Bar Association’s role in selecting seven of the 15 members of the Judicial Nominating Commission.  (Seven other members are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Iowa Senate.  The 15th member is the senior justice on the Iowa Supreme Court who is not the chief justice.)  Today, the Iowa State Bar Association has offered a defense.  Read it below.

State’s largest law-related association passes resolution supporting existing judicial nominating commission

Des Moines — On Dec. 9, The Iowa State Bar Association’s Board of Governors unanimously passed the following Resolution:

“The Iowa State Bar Association continues to fully support Iowa’s system of merit selection of judges and the current form of the State Judicial Nominating Commission, including the manner in which its members are selected.  The commission format and the merit selection process have been a part of the Iowa Constitution since 1962 and have helped to make Iowa’s judicial system on of the best in the nation.  Current challenges to the manner in which commission members are selected are politically motivated and are an attack on the right of Iowans to have judges appointed who are not only exceptionally qualified, but are also committed to rendering decisions based solely on the rule of law – not on the basis of their personal beliefs or outside influences such as pressure from special interest groups.  The Iowa State Bar Association encourages all qualified lawyers and judges who are licensed in Iowa, regardless of their political affiliations, to consider applying for the three vacancies on the Iowa Supreme Court.”

        A voluntary organization of more than 8,000 lawyers and judges who are licensed to practice law in the state of Iowa, The Iowa State Bar Association is the oldest of the voluntary bar associations in the country, The ISBA has been in continuous operation since its founding in 1874.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.