Judge: Iowa lawyer may sue over new judicial nominating law

October 23, 2019

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A judge says a Des Moines lawyer who interviewed for a position on the Iowa Court of Appeals but wasn’t a finalist may sue Gov. Kim Reynolds and other state officials, challenging a new law that gives the governor more power over the commission that selects supreme court and appeals judges.

Des Moines trial lawyer Thomas Duff filed the lawsuit Sept. 11.

The law signed by Reynolds in May gave her a majority of appointees on the State Judicial Nominating Commission.

In a ruling filed Tuesday, a district court judge says Duff has standing to sue because he can argue he was injured by his application being considered by the new commission he claims was unconstitutionally created by the law.

It’s the second such lawsuit filed in state court challenging the law.

The first lawsuit filed by Democratic legislators and a commission member was dismissed in June but is on appeal before the Iowa Court of Appeals. It will hear arguments on Nov. 6.