News & Press: The Iowa State Bar Association News

Senate passes judicial nominating bill, House to vote next

Wednesday, March 13, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Zach Zuber
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Legislation that increases the involvement of partisan politicians in the selection of Iowa judges is moving swiftly ahead through the legislature. The Iowa Senate passed through an amended version of the judicial nominating bill on Tuesday. 

The revised SF237 is now similar to the House version, which takes away the opportunity for Iowa attorneys to vote on members of the State Judicial Nominating Commission, and instead gives that power to legislative leadership. The amendments eliminated the portion of the bill that would have applied these changes to district nominating commissions. You can read additional analysis of the bill and coverage from the Senate vote in this Des Moines Register article.

ISBA leadership and the legislative team appreciate all bar members who have called and written their lawmakers on this issue, but additional effort is still needed. It is now crucial that you make your voice heard to your House Representative as soon as possible. A vote has not yet been scheduled on HF503, but is imminent. 

It is not just lawyers who are opposed to this bill. Please read and share these strong rebukes by prominent members of the business community:

• Op-ed from Pat Baird, former President/CEO of AEGON/Transamerica
• Op-ed from Ray Beebe, former General Counsel of Winnebago Industries 
• Letter to the Governor from Dan Houston, President/CEO of Principal Financial
• Letter to Lawmakers from Susan Voss, former Iowa Insurance Commissioner and General Counsel of American Enterprise Group

If you contact your lawmakers, please provide a courtesy copy to Jim Carney, ISBA Chief Legislative Counsel.

From the Iowa Lawyer Weekly