***The Iowa Standard is an independent media voice. We rely on the financial support of our readers to exist. Please consider a one-time sign of support or becoming a monthly supporter at $5, $10/month - whatever you think we're worth! If you’ve ever used the phrase “Fake News” — now YOU can actually DO something about it! You can also support us on PayPal at [email protected] or Venmo at Iowa-Standard-2018 or through the mail at: PO Box 112 Sioux Center, IA 51250

We passed the judicial reform bill that the House has passed, out of the Senate Judicial Committee. It now is eligible for debate on the Senate floor. It makes several changes in the way judges are selected in Iowa. At present, other judges choose the lower-ranking judges at the judicial district level. This bill provides that the Governor will choose all judges. The district judicial nominating commissions will recommend two persons to the Governor. She will be required to choose one of them.

At present, the State Nominating Commission recommends three persons to the Governor when there is a vacancy on the Court of Appeals. Under this bill, it will recommend five. This gives the Governor more choices. Also, applicants will no longer required to live in the judicial district to which they wish to be appointed. The bill provides that those living in an adjoining county would also be eligible. If they are selected, they then will have to move into the judicial district.

Some people believe that many legislators are attorneys. In fact, very few are. We currently have three Republican attorneys in the Senate and two Democrats, and one of each will not be back next session. On the Republican side, that will leave us with two, leader Whitver and me, assuming we are re-elected. Of course, there could be new Republican or Democrat lawyers elected. My point in mentioning this is that I carry a load when it comes to bills that involve complicated legal matters. I do not mind that because many are important matters that I am glad to work on. I do need to mention that we have several staff members who are attorneys and they assist the non-attorney members, and me also for that matter.

This matter occurred to me when writing about the judicial reforms that I have been working on for several years. We have made some progress but there is more needed. My goal has always been to have judges who will follow our constitutions and laws as written, rather than substituting their own opinions on what the law should be.

Author: Julian Garrett


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here