Iowans Vote for Fair Courts

November 12, 2020 Iowans Vote Resoundingly for Fair Courts 1,150,041 and $0. A lot will be said in the coming days, weeks, and months about last week’s election here in Iowa and across the nation, but we’d like to call your attention to two milestones: The first – 1,150,041 – is the average number of votes cast […]

Iowa Courts Avoid “Horror Stories” Seen In D.C. and Other States… So Far!

October 13, 2020 As the U.S. Senate wades into another politically motivated showdown over judicial selection and partisan judicial elections heat up in multiple nearby states, Iowans have even more cause to reflect on how well our state court functions in comparison. But first… Let’s take a walk down Iowa Courts “Memory Lane.” Back in […]

The Ballots Are Coming! Do You Know Your Judges?

October 5, 2020 Dear Iowa Voters: Iowans have a national reputation for taking their civic responsibilities very seriously, especially when it comes time to vote. Participation in all manner of voting is a tradition here with voters learning as much as possible about the issues and the candidates before going to the polls – or […]

“Born under a bright star,” Ginsburg Shows Why Fair Courts Matter

To borrow part of an old saying, Ruth Bader Ginsburg turned lemons into a legacy that, over more than 50 years as a lawyer and jurist, changed the way the world is now for all Americans, particularly women. One of only nine women in her Harvard Law School class of 500, she was told by […]

Iowa’s Judicial Nominating System: Before and After the 2019 Reynolds Power Grab

Iowa’s Judicial Nominating System: Before and After the 2019 Reynolds Power Grab Dear Friends: On May 8, 2019, Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill in a late-night, closed-door session of the Legislature that gives one politician — the Governor herself — majority control over the process for nominating justices to Iowa’s highest court. With one […]

Iowa’s courts stand strong despite continued attacks

Dear Friends: Iowa’s merit selection and retention process has protected our courts from the corrosive influence of politics and campaign money for nearly 60 years, safeguarding its fairness and impartiality. The result – Iowa courts have a long history of upholding the rights of average citizens because judges are free to rule fairly and consistently […]

Four Iowa Supreme Court justices face a retention election in November

Four Iowa Supreme Court justices will face retention elections on November 3, 2020. The justices facing retention are Susan Christensen, Edward Mansfield, Christopher McDonald, and Thomas Waterman. All four justices were appointed by a Republican governor. Currently, six justices on the court were appointed by a Republican governor while one was appointed by a Democratic […]

Chief Justice Mark Cady remembered as a jurist, family man and friend

Mark Cady was a newly minted lawyer in the late 1970s, working as a law clerk. He saw an attorney in a high-profile trial get into an elevator with the jury, said Greg Kenyon, a Des Moines attorney who delievered one of the eulogies for Cady days after the Iowa Supreme Court chief justice’s sudden […]

Iowa’s Supreme Court Protected Gay Marriage and Abortion Rights—and Republican Lawmakers Are Out for Payback

“It’s just an extreme political power grab.” Conservative Iowa lawmakers are advancing a bill that would change the long-standing way judges are selected in the state. Critics of the legislation, introduced in early February, say it is motivated by displeasure over state courts blocking abortion and same-sex marriage bans. “It’s just an extreme political power […]