Governor Branstad says he will not conduct his interviews with the nine nominees for vacancies on the Iowa Supreme Court in public. The Judicial Nominating Commission has opened its interviews with the 60 people who have applied for the three openings created when three supreme court justices lost their retention elections this fall.
The commission will submit nine nominees to Branstad for those three spots on the court and Branstad will interview those nine people in private. “I don’t think it would be fair to the other candidates if you make that open, so then the person that came up first would be at a disadvantage to the one that would be interviewed last,” Branstad says.
But that’s the case today, as the Judicial Nominating Commission has allowed the public to observe its interviews of the 60 people who’ve applied to be supreme court justices. The process is being streamed on the internet, so it’s more than likely people who’ll be interviewed Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are listening in and taking notes.
Branstad says he understands the court is trying to open more of its proceedings to the public, but he suggests this particular process should be closed to public scrutiny. “It’ll be appropriate and analyze it and see, ‘Is it fair to all concerned?’ and where there might be better ways to do things in the future,” Branstad says.
Mark Cady, the interim chief justice, and Marsha Ternus, the chief justice who was voted off the court in 2010, were both appointed to the court by Branstad during his previous 16-year run as governor.