Iowa courts are under attack

Iowa courts are under attack

Take action today!

Please tell lawmakers to stop politicizing our courts and ensure the checks and balances of three strong, independent branches of government remain intact.


The Senate has passed SF237 and the House bill, HF503, is making its way through the legislative process. This legislation would greatly harm the well-tested and non-partisan process of choosing Iowa’s judges and justices. Iowa’s current model of merit selection is nationally recognized across the country for keeping our courts as free from partisan politics as possible.

Iowans understand this legislation is a power grab and is intended to advance a specific political agenda, placing our courts in harms way simply because one small group in our state is frustrated with a handful of court decisions. That is simply wrong and it is bad public policy.

Please speak out and tell these lawmakers you expect them to protect Iowa’s fair and impartial courts.

Iowa justices and judges are committed to upholding our state’s constitution and serving its citizens with equal consideration under the law. For over 50 years, Iowans have been privileged with a process designed to limit the influence of special interest groups and politics as much as possible. Iowans value our judiciary and understand that, in order to have their own fair day in court, we must ensure the process of choosing our justices and judges remains non-partisan.

A key piece of the merit selection process is the judicial nominating commissions, which serve separately at the district and state levels. Everyday citizens, both lawyers and non-lawyers, are chosen to serve on the nominating commissions. The court provides a process for lawyers to elect the lawyers in their district and at the state level. The governor chooses the commissioners who are not lawyers at both levels. Each commission screens and recommends to the governor for her or his final selection judicial candidates for judicial seats.

The proposed legislation will insert politics directly into the process that is specifically intended to be non-partisan. The bill designates a small group of partisan lawmakers with the sole power to choose who is on the nominating commissions. This is a power grab at the most extreme level by some in the legislature and will cause great harm to our independent judiciary.


Introduction to JNP

Find out how Justice Not Politics got its start.

Justice Not Politics is the voice for fair courts in Iowa. Iowans have a long and proud tradition of fair and impartial courts that deliver justice equally to all. Join Justice Not Politics today and together we will protect Iowa’s courts.

Know Your Courts

Know Your Courts

Do you know the role of the court systems in Iowa?

Iowa’s merit selection and retention process keeps politics and campaign money out of our courts, safeguarding its fairness and impartiality. Learn how this system and the history of Iowa’s court system help to keep money out.

About our Coalition

About our Coalition

Iowa's judicial system is one of the finest in the country.

To keep it that way, Iowans from all political spectrums should resist efforts by out-of-state extremist groups who are funding efforts to politicize our courts. If politics and campaign money are allowed into the courts, justice will be for sale. Groups from across the state are working together to counter the effort of extremists from hijacking Iowa’s courts. Justice Not Politics is a broad based, nonpartisan coalition of organizations and Iowans across the political spectrum —- progressive to conservative; Republicans, Independents and Democrats —- all who are committed to protecting Iowa’s courts and our system of merit selection and retention.


Marking 5 Years as Iowa’s Voice for Fair Courts

Thank you to everyone who came to celebrate the Justice Not Politics Coalition’s 5-year anniversary as Iowa’s voice for Fair Courts. A special thanks to Roxanne Conlin for hosting the event at her home, our keynote speaker JoDee Winterhof of the Human Rights Campaign, and a thank you to all of our event sponsors. Iowa’s […]

Press Release

Justice Not Politics: Courts Must Remain Free of Political Influence 

Justice Not Politics today responded to the legislative proposal released that would drastically alter the merit selection process for choosing Iowa’s judges. Justice Not Politics also released a breakdown of the political makeup of Iowa’s District & State Judicial Nominating Commissions. Connie Ryan, chair of Justice Not Politics, released the following statement criticizing the proposal […]