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.


Important Win for Fair Courts at US Supreme Court Today

Des Moines, Iowa — In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Williams-Yulee v. Florida Bar that banning state judges from personally soliciting campaign contributions is constitutional. Justice Not Politics joined several other state-based fair courts groups in an Amicus Brief supporting the ban. The brief was prepared and filed by Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts.

Like Iowa, and many other states, Florida has a Code of Judicial Conduct that strictly prohibits judicial candidates from personally soliciting campaign contributions or personally accepting contributions. Florida’s lower court judges are elected. Iowa judges are all selected through a merit based process, but all face retention elections. The same code of conduct applies in both states. Judges cannot personally solicit or accept campaign contributions.

When the Florida Bar Association disciplined judicial candidate Lanell William-Yulee for violating this ban, she appealed the disciplinary sanction to the U.S. Supreme Court arguing the ban violates the First Amendment. The court sided with the Florida Bar. Chief Justice Roberts wrote for the Court:

“The State may conclude that judges, charged with exercising strict neutrality and independence, cannot supplicate campaign donors without diminishing public confidence in judicial integrity. Simply put, the public may lack confidence in a judge’s ability to administer justice without fear or favor if he comes to office by asking for favors.”

Justice Not Politics is celebrating the Court’s ruling today, as it means Iowa’s own Judicial Code of Conduct is safe from a similar challenge. “This is an important recognition that our citizens are best served when judges are beholden only to the law. Ideally, Iowa judges would never be put in a position to participate in political campaigning. Regardless of how aggressive political attacks against the courts may get, the ban on personal fundraising ensures that Iowa judges will keep their distance from the corrupting influence of money in politics,” stated Connie Ryan Terrell, board president of Justice Not Politics.

You can read the Williams-Yulee v. Florida Bar ruling here: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/14pdf/13-1499_d18e.pdf

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.

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Iowa Supreme Court to hold night session

Quad City Times

February 11, 2015

NIGHT COURT: The Iowa Supreme Court will hear oral arguments at 7 p.m. Feb. 24 in Des Moines in a case brought by state legislators and a public employees union against Gov. Terry Branstad. The court will hear oral arguments in the case of Danny Homan, Steven J. Sodders, Jack Hatch, Pat Murphy and Mark Smith v. Terry Branstad, Governor, State of Iowa, and Charles M. Palmer, director, Iowa Department of Human Services in the fourth-floor courtroom of the Judicial Branch Building, 1111 E. Court Ave. The plaintiffs claim the governor’s actions prior to closure of the Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo amounted to an unconstitutional impoundment of legislative funds that had been appropriated for the school’s operations. The juvenile home closed in January 2014. The governor and the director of the Iowa Department of Human Services appealed a district court order granting a preliminary injunction requiring the home to reopen. Attorneys’ briefs for the case and a guide to oral arguments are posted on the Iowa Judicial Branch website at www.iowacourts.gov/About_the_Courts/Supreme_Court/Des_Moines_Evening_Session. Proceedings will be streamed live from the Iowa Judicial Branch website at www.iowacourts.gov/About_the_Courts/Supreme_Court/Oral_Argument_Videos. The evening sessions are open to the public. A public reception with the Supreme Court justices will follow the oral arguments on the second floor of the Judicial Branch Building.

http://qctimes.com/news/local/government-and-politics/iowa-supreme-court-to-hold-night-session/article_d3018fa4-7c71-56af-97fd-b675c1c7c371.html


Iowa Judicial Branch Release: Iowa Supreme Court Schedules Two Special Evening Sessions

News Release

February 11, 2015

Contact: Steve Davis, Court Communications Officer, (515)725-8058 or steve.davis@iowacourts.gov

Iowa Supreme Court Schedules Two Special Evening Sessions

Des Moines, February 11, 2015— The Iowa Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a special session of oral arguments in Des Moines Tuesday evening, February 24, and in Creston Monday evening, March 9.

On Tuesday evening, February 24, the supreme court will hear oral arguments in the case of Danny Homan, Steven J. Sodders, Jack Hatch, Pat Murphy, and Mark Smith v. Terry Branstad, Governor, State of Iowa; and Charles M. Palmer, Director, Iowa Department of Human Services beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the Supreme Court Courtroom on the fourth floor of the Judicial Branch Building, 1111 East Court Avenue, Des Moines.

On Monday evening, March 9, the supreme court will hear oral arguments in the case Sanon, et al. v. City of Pella, et al. beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the Creston High School auditorium, 601 West Townline Street, Creston.

The evening sessions are open to the public and provide 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.

Danny Homan, et al. vs. Terry Branstad, et al.

Plaintiffs in this case claim the governor’s actions prior to closure of the Iowa Juvenile Home (IJH) in Toledo amounted to an unconstitutional impoundment of legislative funds that had been appropriated for IJH operations. IJH closed in January 2014. The governor and the Director of the Iowa Department of Human Services appeal a district court order granting a preliminary injunction requiring IJH to reopen.

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 web site 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.

Sanon, et al. v. City of Pella, et al.

This case involves the drowning of two teen age boys while on a youth camp outing to the Pella Aquatic Center operated by the City of Pella (City). The case rises on appeal from the Iowa district court following its ruling granting in part and denying in part the City’s motion for summary judgment on immunity issues. The issues on appeal center on whether acts or omissions of city employees resulting in violation of pool safety regulations amount to a criminal offence under Iowa law such that the City does not have immunity from liability under Iowa Code section 670.4(12).

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/Offsite_Oral_Arguments_Creston/

A public reception with the supreme court justices at both special sessions will follow the oral arguments in the high school.

For more information, visit http://www.iowacourts.gov/About_the_Courts/Supreme_Court/ .

Note to Editors: News media are invited to attend the oral arguments. Court rules apply regarding still camera, video camera, audio recording devices, and other electronic devices used during the oral arguments. Information on expanded media coverage is available on the Iowa Judicial Branch Website at http://www.iowacourts.gov/For_the_Media/Expanded_News_Media_Coverage/ .

The Iowa Court Rules regarding cameras and other electronic devices in courtrooms are on the Iowa Legislature website at https://www.legis.iowa.gov/docs/ACO/CourtRulesChapter/06-30-2014.25.pdf . Internet Explorer 9 or higher is required to view this page of the Iowa Legislature website. Mozilla, Firefox, or Google Chrome will also work.

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http://www.iowacourts.gov/For_the_Media/news_releases/NewsItem58/index.asp