Interest is unexpectedly high in the court case the Iowa Supreme Court will hear next week in Mason City, and court officials have moved the case to a bigger venue to allow more people to attend. The oral arguments were originally planned for the Mason City public library that holds about 100 people, but they’ve been moved to the 300-seat Reunion Hall in Music Man Square. They are scheduled for October 13th at 7 p.m.
Court spokesman Steve Davis says one of the cases is from nearby Mitchell County where Mennonites are arguing for their right to operate steel-wheel tractors on county roads. He says a large crowd is expected because of the increased public interest. Davis says people in town have expressed an interest, and so have Mennonites from nearby Osage.
“I have not heard specifically of any Mennonites planning to come to watch the oral arguments, but according to the local attorneys near Mason City some might be planning to come,” Davis says. Davis says the court chooses the city for its traveling oral arguments, before they know which cases will be heard, and it’s a bonus that there is so much interest.
He says it’s a definite benefit if there’s a high interest case that gets more people to come out. The Iowa Supreme Court decided to hold some oral arguments outside of Des Moines in a public relations move to increase their accessibility after three justices were ousted from the bench in last year’s retention vote.
Oral arguments held earlier in this year in Cedar Rapids attracted about 80 people. The next out of town proceedings after Mason City are scheduled for November in Carroll.
See the schedule for the oral arguments here: www.iowacourts.gov/Supreme_Court/Oral_Argument_Schedule/