The Republican drive to politicize judicial selection was one of the biggest Iowa politics stories of 2019. They have similar political leanings; notably, all participated in the 4-3 decisions to uphold Iowa’s 2017 collective bargaining law. .mw-body #mw-content-text th.votebox-results-cell--text { Judicial nominees are selected by the Iowa Judicial Nominating Commission. font-size: 1em; background: #4c4c4c; .mw-body #mw-content-text th.votebox-results-cell--text { } position: absolute; overflow-y: hidden; Six people have been charged in an alleged plot to violently overthrow the government and kidnap Michigan Gov. If successful, Barrett would become the seventh current Supreme Court justice to be raised a Catholic, but more importantly the sixth conservative Christian. The Iowa Supreme Court is the highest court in the U.S. state of Iowa.As constitutional head of the Iowa Judicial Branch, the Court is composed of a Chief Justice and six Associate Justices. } UPDATE: Some readers have argued that it’s dangerous not to retain any of these justices, because if they are voted out, Reynolds and a more partisan State Judicial Nominating Commission will replace them with younger, conservative ideologues. (Photo: Bryon Houlgrave/The Register). They must be able to serve a full term of office before reaching the mandatory retirement age of 72. if(document.getElementsByClassName("reference").length==0) if(document.getElementById('Footnotes')!==null) document.getElementById('Footnotes') = 'none'; .courts-container { background-color:#fcfcfc; width:100%; border:1px solid black;padding:5px;text-align:center;clear:both; } Demand Justice’s conservative counterpart, Judicial Crisis Network, is spending at least $10 million of its own on ads to support Judge Barrett’s nomination. font-weight: 100; top: 1px; top: -1px; margin-bottom: -2px !important; .race_header { Even two years ago, I never expected to arrive at this decision. Welcome to our new and improved comments, which are for subscribers only. } The Iowa Supreme Court is the court of last resort for the state of Iowa. .race_footer { Reynolds signed into law in May a change that removed the senior Supreme Court justice as the chairman and replaced him with the governor's appointee, giving her a majority on the commission. Through a combination of coincidence, a mandatory retirement age of 72 for judges and changes in the selection process that favor Republicans, Reynolds could make the most appointments to the seven-member court since former Democratic Gov. Iowa Supreme Court justices are on the ballot every eight years. Demonstrators gathered across downtown Los Angeles where police later detained some for unlawful assembly. As recently as 2018, the court established the foundation for a fundamental right to abortion under the Iowa Constitution. But we have to begin, and ousting a few justices this cycle can remind Iowa voters of the work that has to be done. display: inline-block; width: 50%; Sure, some judges did their jobs better than others, but on the whole, Iowa jurists were capable. font-size: 16px; Guy Cook is chair of the bar association's Fair & Impartial Courts Committee. As I wrote last September, the judicial code of conduct required all justices to disclose any relevant facts. left: 0; float: left; background-color: #f4f4f4; This amendment applies to all appellate and district court justices. Gov. .results_table_container { The equal balance of legal professionals and political appointees was seen as a way to minimize political influence. With the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court in 2018, President Trump cemented a solid conservative majority on the bench. Standing, from left: Justice Dana Oxley, Justice Edward Mansfield (up for retention), Justice Christopher McDonald (up for retention), Justice Matthew McDermott. THEY UNDERMINED JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE FOR SHORT-TERM POLITICAL GAIN. } It’s one thing for Governor Kim Reynolds and Republican lawmakers to try to increase their party’s control of the judiciary. } The court is composed of seven justices who serve eight-year terms. } max-height: 355px; However, Bleeding Heartland discourages donations from Iowa elected officials, candidates, or paid campaign staffers and consultants. } There was no excuse for leaving the litigants and the public in the dark about their suspected role in pulling the bill over the finish line. } vertical-align: middle; Judge Vaitheswaran was appointed to the Court of Appeals in 1999. iowa supreme court justices political leanings All appeals in Iowa go first to the state supreme court, which then decides to take on the appeal or send it down to the Iowa Court of Appeals. Occasionally, when attorneys I trust have given me a compelling reason that someone doesn’t belong on the bench, I have voted no. Law is supposed to be impartial. .votebox-results-metadata-p { width: 100%; The terms of four Iowa Supreme Court justices will expire on December 31, 2020. background-color: #003388; } font-weight: 200; .votebox-results-cell--number { margin-right: 12px; In the lead-up to the 2020 election, all eyes are on Iowa. External Relations: Alison Prange • Sara Key • Sarah Rosier • Kari Berger Susan Christensen is running for retention to the Iowa Supreme Court on November 3, 2020. display: block; Based on my reporting, I am confident that Christensen did not work with the governor’s staff or lobby members of the Iowa legislature to pass the bill. Get updates of all things Iowa politics delivered to your inbox. A link has been posted to your Facebook feed. Kim Reynolds is transforming the Iowa Supreme Court from one that leaned liberal to a solidly conservative body, prompting concerns among critics that it could erode past support for civil liberties as well as abortion and gay rights. iowa supreme court justices political leanings Posted on September 21, 2020 at 5:37 am. } Jerry Schnurr III is president of the Iowa State Bar Association. If we vote “no” simply because we disagree with a decision of a judge, or because we align with a political party not in power when the judge was appointed, we unfairly politicize our court system. THEY FLOUTED AN OBLIGATION TO DISCLOSE RELEVANT CONTACTS. } Learn more before voting on judges and justices. } Tom Vilsack named five from 1999 to 2007. For that reason, I’ve voted to retain every judge in most elections. The changes prompted several Democratic lawmakers to sue, saying the new law was legislative overreach and violated the state constitution. .mw-body #mw-content-text .votebox .race_header h5.votebox-header-election-type { I still would have voted to retain, because of the person who would appoint the replacement if they were not retained. The political leanings of the Supreme Court justices. Is it fair to vote against retaining these justices without knowing all the details about their conversations with key players? designed to create “a competent and stable judiciary,”, cleared a path for conservatives to replace, will vote to reverse the Iowa Supreme Court’s 2018 holding, appointed him in violation of Iowa’s constitution, Final look at the 2020 Iowa House landscape, with ratings, Sixteen Iowa Senate races to watch, with ratings, Iowa justice won't comment on recusal from post-election cases, Youth vote could be decisive in Iowa, other states, As Iowa's COVID-19 trends worsen, Kim Reynolds is out campaigning, Matt Whitaker blocked criminal case against Turkish bank, I know both candidates in House district 16. See also: Iowa Supreme Court. height: 40px; background-color: #9d334; Waterman, Mansfield, and McDonald can’t be sure future governors will exercise those powers wisely. Gretchen Whitmer, President Trump tweeted Thursday night that he has tested positive for coronavirus:"Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for, A federal judge early on Sunday temporarily blocked a Trump administration order banning downloads of the Chinese-owned global, President-Elect Trump and his Possible Justices, Possible Presidents and their Possible Justices. However, if I lived in Judicial District 6 (Linn, Johnson, Benton, Iowa, Jones, or Tama counties) I would vote against retaining Jason Besler, because Reynolds appointed him in violation of Iowa’s constitution. letter-spacing: 0.03em; color: #6db24f; It is disappointing that when denying the motion to recuse in the judicial selection case, Christensen failed to state clearly whether she had any communications that would cause a reasonable person to question her impartiality. You will need to register before adding a comment. Governor Kim Reynolds swears in new Iowa Supreme Court Justice Christopher McDonald in the Iowa Supreme Court Friday, April 5, 2019. © 2020 It’s another for Supreme Court justices to join such efforts. The court is composed of seven justices who serve eight-year terms. } font-weight: 300; padding-left: 8px; It's OK to disagree with someone's ideas, but personal attacks, insults, threats, hate speech, advocating violence and other violations can result in a ban. Please be polite. Gretchen Whitmer, Trump Tweets He Has Tested Positive for Coronavirus, Judge Temporarily Halts Trump’s WeChat Ban. Operations: Meghann Olshefski • Lauren Dixon • Kelly Rindfleisch • Sara Antel • Sara Horton. Read or Share this story:, aggressive push to remake the federal courts, third state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage, supported a 2017 law that removed bargaining rights, change the selection process for appeals judges, Iowa's courts leaned to the left of its citizens, Iowa Poll: Independents in Iowa swing to Trump, 14-day positivity rate in 46 Iowa counties at or above 15%, DMPD confirms woman charged with murder is victim's daughter, State reports 2,887 new coronavirus cases, Iowa woman dies after rolling car during chase, Your California Privacy Rights/Privacy Policy.