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A lawsuit has been filed as a Cedar Rapids lawyer and eight state representatives are challenging Senate File 638, the bill that alters Iowa’s judicial nominating commission.

After much debate, the legislature settled on a very narrow change. Rather than removing the bar completely from the process, the legislation provides the governor with an additional pick to the commission. The senior judge of the Supreme Court is removed from the commission, which is how the governor gets an additional appointment.


The change is modest at best. Lawyers will still be involved in the process.

But Democrats have fought the changes every step of the way.

So, can we just ask the obvious question? If the courts aren’t already politicized and the process is completely devoid of politics, why are Democrats fighting so hard to preserve it?

Combine the amount of push back Democrats have mustered against the changes with recent Iowa Supreme Court decisions, and the answer is obvious.

Democrats are fighting the changes not because the changes politicize the court, but the changes attempt to make an already politicized court a little more bipartisan.

Republicans had a solid argument when they made the issue about a group of super citizens. The court is one-third of the state’s government. Yet a small group of Iowans had an enormous amount of input in that branch.

It never should have been so.

Now, while the media is telling everyone that one lawyer and eight state lawmakers are challenging the legislation, the truth is four of those eight legislators are or were attorneys.
And since lawyers have an obvious personal interest in retaining this power and keeping everyday Iowans out of the process, the lawsuit is no surprise.

But please, let’s stop pretending the courts are not already politicized. The lawyers on the nominating commission surely have political views.

And now the lawyers are looking to judges to stop a law that will change how judges are selected.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Let’s hope despite the obvious conflict of interest Iowans receive a fair and impartial hearing. And the law is upheld.

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