Every Iowa voter, regardless of political persuasion, should be fully alarmed by the efforts of Gov. Kim Reynolds and Republican lawmakers to alter the way Iowa judges are chosen.
For the past 50-plus years, the Iowa judicial process has been the envy of almost every state. Since 1962, judicial candidates have been chosen through a merit system, with nominating commissions made up of gubernatorial appointees and members elected by lawyers. The commissions nominate judicial candidates and the governor makes the final choice. This creates a fair, independent court system that follows the law.
Reynolds would like to infuse greater political influence (beyond the large Republican advantage on commissions currently) into the judicial system by shifting the power to pick commissioners from lawyers to partisan legislative leaders, opening up Iowa’s courts to political lobbying and partisan influence.
Iowa voters need to remember the party pendulum will eventually swing the other way. How will you feel about this endeavor then? Every voter should visit iowacourts.gov and Iowajnc.gov to learn about this process so the ramifications of this power grab are understood. I refuse to believe any Iowa voter thinks changes to the Iowa Constitution shouldn’t be careful, deliberate and bipartisan … and left to the voters to decide.
If you live in House District 73, I urge you to contact Bobby Kaufmann and tell him we have a responsibility to keep politics and lobbying out of our courts and allow voters to decide what changes should be made to the Iowa Constitution.