Governor Branstad says he’ll meet privately for an hour with each of the nine people who’ve been nominated to serve on the Iowa Supreme Court. “You need to be able to look people in the eye and ask them questions,” Branstad says. “…We will also review their background and experience and, those that have served on the bench, their opinions they’ve written and things like that, so we intend to take this very, very seriously. I know how important it is.”
The State Judicial Nominating Commission submitted its slate of nine nominees to Branstad late last week. The governor is to choose three to replace the three justices who were defeated in last year’s retention election. “I was disappointed that I didn’t get more women. We had 11 women apply. They only nominated one,” Branstad says.
“I, however, believe that I need to thoughtfully and carefully review and interview each of the candidates and make a decision within the 30 days. I’m going to try to find the best three to serve on the supreme court.” Sixty people applied for the three openings on the state’s seven-member Supreme Court.
Branstad says his chief of staff, legal counsel and lieutenant governor will sit in on his private meetings with the nine nominees. Branstad is accepting input from the public about each of the candidates. Four district court judges and a judge who sits on the Iowa Court of Appeals were nominated.
Three nominees are Iowa attorneys working in private practice. The other nominee, the only woman in the bunch, is a University of Iowa law professor.