October 8, 2014
Seventy district court judges and two judges on the Iowa Court of Appeals are up for a retention vote on this fall’s ballot.
The Iowa State Bar Association has released its survey of lawyers about each of the judges up for retention in 2014. Over 1100 attorneys from around the state evaluated the judges on what the Bar Association describes as “performance characteristics” and the Bar Association’s president says all the judges “received high ratings.” Find the evaluations for the 72 judges here.
In 1962, the so-called “merit” system was launched for choosing Iowa judges. A judicial nominating commission recommends three candidates for each opening and the governor appoints people to the bench, but those judges must periodically stand for a retention vote.
In 2010 Iowa voters tossed three Iowa Supreme Court justices — including the chief justice — off the bench after the court’s 2009 ruling that legalized same-sex marriage. But in 2012 another justice who joined that unanimous ruling won his retention vote. There are no justices from the Supreme Court on this year’s ballot.