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The Iowa Supreme Court Mourns the Passing of Former Chief Justice Arthur A. McGiverin

June 4, 2019

The justices of the Iowa Supreme Court, former colleagues, and friends remember former Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Arthur A. McGiverin today for his wisdom, fairness, and integrity during his 40 years of judicial service to the citizens of Iowa.

Justice McGiverin served on the Iowa Supreme Court from 1978 until his retirement in 2000. He served as chief justice from 1987 to 2000, the longest-serving chief justice in the history of the Iowa Supreme Court.

“The court is saddened by the passing of former Chief Justice Art McGiverin,” Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady said. “He will long be remembered for his steady leadership and all he did to improve our system of justice. He served with the utmost integrity and civility. I deeply appreciated his mentorship when I first joined the supreme court.”

A native of Ottumwa, Iowa, Justice McGiverin served two tours of duty in the United States Army. He attended the University of Iowa and earned his bachelor's and law degrees in 1951 and 1956 respectively. He practiced law in Ottumwa and served as a part-time municipal judge. He was appointed to the Iowa District Court in 1965. During part of his term on the district court, he served as assistant chief judge, and, later as chief judge of the district.

Justice McGiverin was president of the Conference of Chief Justices in 1996-1997 and as such served as chair of the board of directors of the National Center for State Courts. He also served as a member of the board of directors of the State Justice Institute, a federal corporation dedicated to assisting state courts.

An interview of Justice McGiverin is on the Judicial Branch website at

A memorial page with statements from past and present Iowa Supreme Court Justices regarding the passing of Justice Arthur A. McGiverin is on the judicial branch website at

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