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Justices

The Iowa Supreme Court is composed of seven justices.  Appointments to the court are made by the governor from a list of nominees submitted by the State Judicial Nominating Commission.  To be considered for appointment a person must be an attorney licensed to practice in Iowa.

A justice serves an initial term of office that is one year after appointment and until January 1 following the next judicial retention election after expiration of such year.  The regular term of office of justices retained at election is eight years.  A justice must retire upon reaching the age of 72.  A retired justice may serve as a senior judge if assigned by the court to the senior judge program.

Chief Justice

The justices elect the chief justice.  The term of chief justice corresponds with the term of the justice serving in that capacity.

Mark S. Cady

Chief Justice

Chief Justice Cady, Ft. Dodge, has served on the Iowa Supreme Court since 1998. The members of the court selected him as chief justice in 2010. Chief Justice Cady was born in Rapid City, South Dakota. He earned both his undergraduate and law degrees from Drake University. After graduating from...

David Wiggins

Justice

Justice Wiggins, West Des Moines, was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2003. Justice Wiggins, who was born in Chicago, earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois in Chicago in 1973. He graduated with honors and Order of the Coif from Drake University Law School in 1976. While...

Brent R. Appel

Justice

Justice Appel, Ackworth, was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2006. A Dubuque native, he received his bachelor's and master's degree from Stanford University in California in 1973 and his J.D. degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1977. Following graduation from law school, Justice Appel served as a...

Thomas D. Waterman

Justice

Justice Waterman, Davenport, was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2011. Justice Waterman, who was born in Davenport, Iowa, earned his bachelor of arts degree from Dartmouth College in 1981. He graduated Order of the Coif from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1984, and served as associate...

Edward M. Mansfield

Justice

Justice Mansfield, Des Moines, was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2011. Justice Mansfield was born and raised in Massachusetts. He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard in 1978, and his law degree from Yale in 1982. After law school he clerked for the U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit....

Susan Christensen

Justice

Justice Christensen, Harlan, was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2018. She was born and raised in Harlan, Iowa. She earned her bachelor's degree from Judson College in 1988 and her law degree from Creighton University School of Law in 1991. Prior to her appointment to the supreme court, Justice...

Christopher McDonald

Justice

Justice McDonald, Des Moines, was appointed to the Iowa Supreme Court in February 2019. He was born in Bangkok, Thailand. Justice McDonald earned his undergraduate degree from Grand View University in 1997 and his law degree from the University of Iowa College of Law in 2001, where he graduated with...

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