Governor-elect Terry Branstad says the commission that selects a slate of nominees for openings on the Iowa Supreme Court should move cautiously rather than quickly. “Already, I mean, there’s a legitimacy question about the court since you had three of them on the ballot who were rejected,” Branstad says.
“The judicial nominating commission is not balanced. You have 12 Democrats and only one Republican on it, so I think to really restore credibility to the court system, it’s important that they not try to rush to judgment.” Three justices were voted off the court in this year’s election and the state’s Judicial Nominating Commission must meet to come up with a list of three nominees for each vacancy.
“And it’s the legitimacy and the future legitimacy of the court’s that’s at stake so I think the judicial system understands that they need to approach this in a very thoughtful and deliberative way,” Branstad says. Once there’s a vacancy on the court, the Judicial Nominating Commission has 60 days to sort through applications and submit three names to the governor for his consideration.
Late last week a key leader in the effort to oust the three justices in this year’s retention election suggested the four justices who remain on the court should consider resigning.