The Iowa Court of Appeals has reselected Judge Thomas N. Bower, Cedar Falls, as chief judge. At the first meeting in each odd-numbered year, the judges of the court of appeals by majority vote designate one judge as chief judge, to serve for a two-year term. Chief Judge Bower has served on the court of appeals since 2012 and was first elected chief judge in 2019 when Chief Judge Gayle Nelson Vogel retired.
Bower received his bachelor's degree from Illinois State University in 1984 and his law degree from Drake University in 1987.
Chief Judge Bower was appointed to the district associate court bench in 1993 and the district court bench in 1995. He was appointed Chief Judge of the First District in 2010. Prior to his appointment, he served as an Assistant City Attorney for the city of Ames and as an Assistant Black Hawk County Attorney. He helped to establish the Black Hawk County Adult Drug Court program in 2006 and a mental health court program in 2009. Judge Bower is a member of the Iowa State Bar Association, Black Hawk County Bar, and the Iowa Judges Association.
The Iowa Court of Appeals is a nine-member, intermediate appellate court. It reviews appeals from trial court decisions that the supreme court has transferred to the court of appeals. A decision of the Iowa Court of Appeals is final unless reviewed by the Iowa Supreme Court on grant of further review. The majority of appeals filed in Iowa are decided by the court of appeals, with 1170 opinions filed in 2020.
In addition to day-to-day judicial duties, the Chief Judge of the Iowa Court of Appeals supervises the business of the court, presides when present at a session of the court, and serves on the judicial council. Chief Judge Bower will carry these duties and continue to review cases and author opinions.