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 released today:

“Iowans depend on an independent Judicial Branch. If the political branches of government have complete control over how judges are selected as proposed in this legislation, it threatens our system of checks and balances.”

“Our state is recognized regularly as a model example for how we can avoid the partisan battles that are so prevalent in Washington, D.C. over judicial appointments. Why would we want to insert that kind of politics into Iowa’s courts?”

“The judicial nominating commissions consistently find fair-minded, quality nominees for appointment to the bench.  The proposal released today is an attempt to  give complete control over how judges are selected to politicians. It must be opposed by all who believe our courts must remain fair, impartial, and non-partisan.”

Justice Not Politics is a broad based, nonpartisan coalition of organizations and Iowans across the political spectrum — progressive to conservative, Republicans, Independents and Democrats, representing tens of thousands of Iowans who believe our courts should be free from political and financial influence.


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 fair courts movement has achieved monumental progress over these last 5 years, but we have a lot more work to do!

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Iowa Supreme Court Schedules Special Evening Session in Des Moines

Des Moines

February 5, 2016

The Iowa Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case The Estate of Paul Dedrick Gray, et al. v. Daniel J. Baldi, et al. during a special evening session in Des Moines Tuesday, February 16, at 7:00 p.m. in the Supreme Court Courtroom on the fourth floor of the Judicial Branch Building, 1111 East Court Avenue.

The evening session is open to the public and provides an opportunity for Iowa residents, who may not be able to attend the court’s regular morning and afternoon sessions, to watch the court conduct oral arguments.

The Estate of Paul Dedrick Gray, et al. v. Daniel J. Baldi, et al.

Plaintiffs appeal from summary judgment dismissing their petition alleging medical malpractice due to defendant physician’s excessive or conflicting prescribing of pain medications, resulting in the wrongful death of Paul Dedrick Gray. Plaintiffs, Gray’s wife and minor child, contend the district court erred by finding their claims were barred by Iowa’s two-year statute of limitations, and that the court erred in ruling that an unborn child could not recover for loss of parental consortium under the limitations of actions chapter of the Iowa Code. Gray died in May 2010 when his wife was pregnant with their child, born six months after his death.

Attorneys’ briefs for the case and a guide to oral arguments are posted on the Iowa Judicial Branch website at: http://www.iowacourts.gov/About_the_Courts/Supreme_Court/Des_Moines_Evening_Session/.

Proceedings will be streamed live from the Iowa Judicial Branch website at: http://www.iowacourts.gov/About_the_Courts/Supreme_Court/Oral_Argument_Videos/.

A public reception with the supreme court justices will follow the oral arguments on the second floor of the Judicial Branch Building. The reception is sponsored by the Polk County Bar Association.

For more information, visit the Iowa Supreme Court page on the Judicial Branch website at: http://www.iowacourts.gov/About_the_Courts/Supreme_Court/

 

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Iowa Women, Planned Parenthood Score Unanimous Victory on Telemed

Telemed access will continue in Iowa, thanks to today’s unanimous ruling by the Iowa Supreme Court. At issue was whether doctors could communicate over video to women mostly living in more rural parts of the state with less access to health clinics, and issue them abortion pills via remote dispensing.

Terry Branstad’s appointed state regulators had ruled back in 2013 that the practice should end. A district judge agreed, but the ruling was put on hold until the Iowa Supreme Court could weigh in. Many progressive organizations and women’s health groups criticized the original board’s ruling as politically motivated.

“Today’s ruling is the latest example highlighting Iowa’s proud tradition of our courts being free from politics,” said Connie Ryan Terrell in a statement, the chair of Justice Not Politics. “The court reaffirmed its role as our state’s independent arbiter of justice. Some will attack the justices and mislead the public about the court’s decision, as Iowans have witnessed in the past. However, a fair and impartial judiciary is about more than any one ruling. Iowans have learned by experience we must preserve the integrity of the courts and ensure the rights of all citizens. Iowans will always stand up for a judicial process that is free from politics, defending the courts from extremists who want to attack our justices and judges to benefit their own narrow agenda.”

“I applaud today’s decision by the Iowa Supreme Court in siding with women’s health care over the needless partisanship of Governor Branstad,” said Andy McGuire in a statement put out by the IDP. “All Iowa women, regardless of their location or socioeconomic status, should have access to treatments and services that are vital to their well-being. Today’s decision empowers women with the resources and information needed to take charge of their own health care decisions. That’s a major victory for Iowa women, their families and our state.”

Bob Vander Platt’s Family Leader organization, however, disagreed, characterizing the healthcare option access as putting “women at risk.”

“Planned Parenthood and other abortionists must be held to basic medical standards of care, and little is more basic than an in-person examination by a physician before a procedure that poses serious health risks,” reads part of the Family Leader’s statement. “Regardless of one’s position on abortion, everyone should agree that Planned Parenthood should not be allowed to jeopardize women’s lives by disregarding established medical protocols.”

by Pat Rynard
Posted 6/19/15


Justice Not Politics Responds to Planned Parenthood v Board of Medicine Ruling

DES MOINES — After today’s ruling by the Iowa Supreme Court in Planned Parenthood of the Heartland Inc. and Dr. Jill Meadows v. Iowa Board of Medicine, Justice Not Politics Chair, Connie Ryan Terrell, issued the following statement:

“Today’s ruling is the latest example highlighting Iowa’s proud tradition of our courts being free from politics. The court reaffirmed its role as our state’s independent arbiter of justice. Some will attack the justices and mislead the public about the court’s decision, as Iowans have witnessed in the past. However, a fair and impartial judiciary is about more than any one ruling. Iowans have learned by experience we must preserve the integrity of the courts and ensure the rights of all citizens. Iowans will always stand up for a judicial process that is free from politics, defending the courts from extremists who want to attack our justices and judges to benefit their own narrow agenda.”

Justice Not Politics (JNP) is a nonpartisan coalition of organizations and Iowans across the political spectrum, all who are committed to protecting Iowa’s courts and our system of merit selection and retention. JNP works through the power of a coalition, effectively demonstrating the importance of impartial courts in all areas of life and the broad support of Iowans in protecting our judicial system. For more information visit justicenotpolitics.org.