Government

New changes spell out process for replacing Cady

The State Judicial Nominating Commission prepares to interview applicants for the Iowa Supreme Court on Monday, July 9, in the Iowa Supreme Court courtroom, 4th Floor, Iowa Judicial Branch Building, 1111 East Court Ave., Des Moines. (Rod Boshart, The Gazette)
The State Judicial Nominating Commission prepares to interview applicants for the Iowa Supreme Court on Monday, July 9, in the Iowa Supreme Court courtroom, 4th Floor, Iowa Judicial Branch Building, 1111 East Court Ave., Des Moines. (Rod Boshart, The Gazette)

Finding a successor to Iowa Chief Justice Mark Cady will begin shortly.

Once she has received official notice of a vacancy, Gov. Kim Reynolds has 10 days to call a meeting of the state’s judicial nominating commission. The commissioners have 60 days to accept applications, interview candidates and submit the names of three finalists to the governor. Reynolds has 30 days to name a replacement.

It will be Reynolds’ third state Supreme Court appointment since she became governor in May 2017. Her previous appointments are Justices Susan Christensen and Christopher McDonald.

The changes the Iowa Legislature made in the judicial nominating process earlier this year give the governor more influence over the selection.

Previously, the judicial nominating commission was made up of eight members of the bar, eight members appointed by the governor and then the senior Supreme Court member.

Lawmakers eliminated the role of the senior justice and gave the governor a ninth appointee — a majority of the seats for vetting the applicants.

The court itself will choose a chief justice to serve the remainder of Cady’s term that expires in January 2021. Under changes the Legislature made, the court now will elect a chief justice every two years rather than every eight years.

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