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Candidate interview schedule for Iowa Supreme Court vacancy

January 24, 2019

Des Moines—Nineteen Iowans have applied to fill the Iowa Supreme Court vacancy that occurred upon Justice Daryl Hecht’s retirement December 13, 2018.  Twelve of the applicants previously applied for the supreme court vacancy that occurred upon Justice Bruce Zager’s retirement earlier in 2018.  Today, the State of Iowa Judicial Nominating Commission posted the interview schedule for the seven applicants who applied to fill Justice Hecht’s vacancy but did not apply for the Justice Zager vacancy. The nominating commission will not conduct second interviews with the 12 applicants who applied for both the Justice Zager and Justice Hecht vacancies. Links to the 12 original interviews and the applications for all 19 candidates are available on the Iowa Judicial Nominating Commissions website.

The State Judicial Nominating Commission will meet Wednesday, January 30, in the Iowa Supreme Court Courtroom on the fourth floor of the Judicial Branch Building to interview the applicants. The schedule is posted on the Iowa Judicial Nominating Commissions website. The public is invited to observe the interviews in the courtroom. The interviews will also be live streamed and the videos archived on the Iowa Judicial Branch YouTube channel for those unable to observe in person.  

Wednesday afternoon, immediately following the last interview, the State Judicial Nominating Commission will begin deliberations to select a slate of three nominees from the group of applicants.  Once the nominating commission selects its slate of nominees, it will forward those names to the governor. The governor will then have thirty (30) days in which to appoint the new justice.

The nominating commission welcomes written comments from the public about the qualifications of any of the applicants. Comments must be submitted to the secretary of the commission by the conclusion of all of the interviews. Comments may be e-mailed to  appellate.vacancy@iowacourts.gov. Comments may also be mailed to the Iowa State Judicial Nominating Commission Secretary, 1111 E. Court Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50319.

The 17-member nominating commission is composed of a chair, who is the senior justice of the supreme court other than the chief justice, eight lawyer commissioners elected by lawyers licensed to practice law in Iowa, and eight commissioners appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Iowa Senate. With the exception of the nominating commission chair, membership on the commission is limited to one six-year term. Terms are staggered. The Iowa Constitution requires that commission members be chosen without regard to political affiliation. More information about Iowa's process for selecting judges is available on the Iowa Judicial Nominating Commissions website.

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For More Information:

For More Information:
Contact: The State Judicial Nominating Commission through Steve Davis, Court Communication Director, (515) 348-4967 or steve.davis@iowacourts.gov

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