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Judicial Nominating Commission begins process for selecting nominees for Supreme Court vacancy

November 27, 2019

The State Judicial Nominating Commission, which is responsible for selecting nominees for appointment to the Iowa Supreme Court, announced today it will begin accepting applications for the vacancy on the court that occurred when Chief Justice Mark Cady passed away on November 15, 2019. The Commission received notice of the vacancy from Governor Reynolds on November 20, 2019.  The Commission has sixty days to send a slate of nominees to the Governor, who makes appointments to the court.  

The deadline for applications to be received by the Commission and the Commissioners to be considered for balloting is 11:59 p.m. on Monday, December 23, 2019. Any citizen may submit in writing to the Secretary of the Commission, or to any Commissioner via email at the email addresses listed on the State Judicial Nominating Commission website at and also listed below, the names of persons for consideration as a candidate for nomination and express views concerning such candidate.  For comments regarding an applicant to be considered by the Commission, communications from the public must be received by the Commissioners via email by 11:59 P.M. on Saturday, January 4, 2020.  Comments regarding an applicant made for previous vacancies will not be considered by the Commission.  Applications can be obtained on the State Judicial Nominating Commission website at the website address listed above or from the State Court Administrator at 1111 E. Court Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50319. The State and District Judicial Nominating Commissions Uniform Rules of Procedure adopted by the State Judicial Nominating Commission and dated October 31, 2019 are available at  This is the first state judicial opening for which the new rules apply.

Once the application time has run, the Commission will release the names of all applicants along with information about each applicant's background, experience, and qualifications.   This list and other information about the Commission and Iowa's merit selection process will be available on the Iowa Judicial Branch website:

The Commission plans to meet Wednesday, January 8, 2020 and Thursday, January 9, 2020, to interview applicants and select three nominees to submit to the Governor for appointment. The meeting will be in the Supreme Court Courtroom in the Judicial Branch Building, 1111 East Court Avenue, Des Moines. The interview portion of the meeting is open to the public and will be streamed live and archived on the Iowa Judicial Branch YouTube channel, .

The 17-member Commission is composed of eight commissioners elected by lawyers licensed to practice law in Iowa and nine commissioners appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Iowa Senate.

Important Notice to Applicants: To be eligible for appointment to the court, a person must be a resident of Iowa, licensed to practice law in Iowa, and must be of such age that he or she will be able to serve an initial and one regular term of office before reaching the age of 72. To be considered for balloting, an applicant must email his or her application and supporting materials to the Commission via email to [email protected] and to each member of the Commission at the email addresses listed below so that the application and supporting materials are received by the Commission and Commissioners by 11:59 P.M. on Monday, December 23, 2019. The candidates for nomination must email to the Commission and all Commissioners a PDF version of the completed Application forms and a PDF version of any writing samples and other attachments to the Application.   

The names and email addresses of the State Judicial Nominating Commission members are:


Trish Roberts, Carroll, Iowa; [email protected]


Kathleen Law, Des Moines, Iowa; [email protected]


Steve Berger


[email protected]

Henry Bevel


[email protected]

John Bloom


[email protected]

Christine Conover


[email protected]

Jeff Goodman 


[email protected]

John Gray


[email protected]

Lance Horbach


[email protected]

Dan Huitink


[email protected]

Kathleen Law


[email protected]

Dorothy O’Brien


[email protected]

Kathy Pearson

(c) 319-350-4604; 319-366-4451

[email protected]

Trish Roberts

(c) 712-830-9912

[email protected]

Helen Sinclair


[email protected]

Leon Spies


[email protected]

Kristina Stanger


[email protected]

Steve Sukup

(c) 515-238-6563; (w) 641-892-4222

[email protected]

Janece M. Valentine


[email protected]

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