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Case No. 19-1109

Bob Rush, Brian Meyer, Rick Olson, Mary Mascher, Art Staed, Liz Bennett, Mark Smith, Jo Oldson, Mary Wolfe, Marti Anderson, Leon Spies, and Martin A. Diaz
v.
Governor Kimberly K. Reynolds, Glen Dickinson, Leslie Hickey and Dan Huitink

Appellant

Bob Rush, Brian Meyer, Rick Olson, Mary Mascher, Art Staed, Liz Bennett, Mark Smith, Jo Oldson, Mary Wolfe, Marti Anderson, Leon Spies, and Martin A. Diaz

Appellee

Governor Kimberly K. Reynolds, Glen Dickinson, Leslie Hickey and Dan Huitink

Attorneys for Appellant

Bob Rush and Nate Willems

Attorneys for Appellee

Jeffrey S. Thompson, Solicitor General, and David M. Ranscht and Thomas J. Ogden, Assistant Attorneys General

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
19-1109
Date Published:
Feb 19, 2020
Summary

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Sarah Crane, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Bower, C.J., Mullins, J., Greer, J., Danilson, S.J., and Potterfield, S.J.  May, Schumacher, and Ahlers, JJ., take no part.  Opinion by Mullins, J.  Concurrence in part and dissent in part by Danilson, S.J. (42 pages)

            The plaintiffs appeal the district court’s dismissal of their lawsuit challenging divisions XIII and XIV of Senate File (SF) 638.  On appeal, the plaintiffs assert specific arguments regarding standing for each group—lawyers, commissioners, and legislators.  In the alternative, they argue we should apply the exception to standing and waive the standing requirement for all of them because the claimed violations of the Iowa constitution, which occurred in the passage of the legislation, are of great public importance.  If we determine they have standing and remand to the district court, the plaintiffs ask that we grant a temporary injunction to stay the implementation of the challenged portions of SF 638 until the district court can rule on the underlying merits of their claims.  OPINION HOLDS: We agree with the district court that the plaintiffs have not established any group has standing.  We conclude the issues raised by the plaintiffs are not of such great public importance as to waive traditional standing requirements.  We need not address the temporary-injunction issue.  We affirm the district court.  PARTIAL DISSENT ASSERTS: I respectfully dissent in part.  I agree with my colleagues in the majority that none of the groups before us—commissioners, lawyers, or legislators—have standing to challenge divisions XIII and XIV of SF 638.  However, I believe the issues raised by these plaintiffs are of great public importance and would apply the exception to standing.  I would reverse the district court’s dismissal of their suit and remand for proceedings on the merits.

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