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Marsha K. Ternus (1993-2010)

Chief Justice

Marsha K. Ternus

Chief Justice Marsha Ternus, Des Moines, was appointed to the Iowa Supreme Court in 1993 by Governor Terry Branstad. The members of the court selected her as chief justice in 2006. She was the first woman to serve as chief justice of Iowa's highest court. 

Chief Justice Ternus is a native of Iowa, growing up on a farm in northern Benton County and graduating from Vinton High School in 1969. She received her bachelor's degree with honors and high distinction, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Iowa in 1972. She earned her law degree with honors, Order of the Coif, from Drake University Law School in 1977. While at Drake, she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Drake Law Review. 

Before joining the supreme court, Chief Justice Ternus worked in the private practice of law in the Des Moines law firm of Bradshaw, Fowler, Proctor and Fairgrave, with a primary emphasis on civil litigation and insurance law. 

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