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Klein: Fix Iowa’s problematic Supreme Court selection process

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Iowa needs to reexamine its process for selecting Supreme Court justices, according to Drew Klein. Klein, the state director for Americans for Prosperity-Iowa, spoke about the idea on Thursday.

“Governor Kim Reynolds just hinted at it (Wednesday),” Klein said. “The idea of altering the judicial nomination process. Right now it’s a selection process where the bar association calls it merit selection. What that really means is the bar association gets to pick the judges. The bar is controlled by trial lawyers. So really you have ambulance chasers picking judges.”

Klein pointed to key legislation passed in the last few years and noted the immediate reaction from the opposition is a lawsuit.

“The branch of government I was taught is the branch that makes laws is being over-ruled by the judicial branch almost systematically,” Klein said. “It’s not just in Iowa where that’s a problem. Merit selection leads to a court nowhere near the philosophical orientation of the state they represent.”

Ideally, Klein said, the state would amend its constitution.

“We’d move to a model with a lot more accountability built in,” he said. “Whether that’s mirroring the federal system where the governor would appoint whoever and that person would stand confirmation in the senate — or some states do judicial election, I’m not as crazy about that model, but at that point you’re enhancing the accountability that exists within the judicial system. That would more closely mirror what our Founders thought the three branches of government should look like.”

Author: Jacob Hall

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