Legal Special Interests Still Dominate Judicial Selection in Iowa
February 17, 2012
While the decision by Iowa voters to dump three state Supreme Court Justices last November may have reminded the state’s legal elites that the people still have a voice, it’s clear that the legal special interests still have a chokehold on Iowa’s judicial selection system. Recently, two Iowa attorneys were appointed to the state’s District Judicial Nominating Commissions for Judicial Election District 2A, one of 14 sub-districts in the state. Of the 11 commission members, five are elected by lawyers and five are appointed by the governor, with the most senior district court judge serving as chair. That means in Iowa, by law, legal special interests control who gets chosen to sit on state benches. So in Iowa, and the rest of “merit” selection-land, it’s We the Lawyers … instead of We the People when it comes to picking judges.