Suit filed over law enhancing governor’s role in judge picks

May 15, 2019 GMT

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Eight legislators and a lawyer have filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn a law giving the governor more control over the commission that nominates candidates for positions on the Iowa Supreme Court and Iowa Court of Appeals.

KCCI-TV reports the Democratic lawmakers and Cedar Rapids lawyer Bob Rush filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Polk County District Court and asked a judge to temporarily halt implementation of the law.

Last week, Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill giving her the authority to appoint nine commissioners to the 17-member state commission. Lawyers will elect eight. Previously, the governor and lawyers each chose eight state members and the 17th member was the senior justice on the Iowa Supreme Court who wasn’t the chief justice.


Republican lawmakers had insisted on changing the earlier process, which was established by a constitutional amendment approved by voters in 1962.

The lawsuit claims the bill violated the state constitution by including unrelated provisions in a single bill and that the measure’s title didn’t accurately describe the proposal. The suit also says the bill violates the constitutional separation of powers between the legislative and judicial branches.


Information from: KCCI-TV, http://www.kcci.com