The shake up in the Iowa Supreme Court could back up the court’s workload for at least a year. That’s the word from State Court Administrator David Boyd. Three justices are leaving office today after being voted off the bench in November, a little over a year after they were part of a unanimous decision that cleared the way for same-sex marriage.

It could take another three to four months before three new justices are appointed and can join the court. “The primary problem over that period of time comes in the court’s adjudicative role and function, it’ll just simply slow down the appellate process…the cases that go to the Supreme Court,” Boyd said. “There will only be four justices working, so it will slow the process down.”

The Judicial Nominating Commission is scheduled to interview applicants the week of January 24. Boyd anticipates the commission will present a list a nominees to Governor-elect Branstad before February. “Then, even once the new members come on board, it takes some time to get them up to speed,” Boyd said. “So, I suspect for most of calendar year 2011, the adjudicative work of the Supreme Court will be backed up.”

The Judicial Nominating Commission is accepting applications for the open positions through January 14.