Republican lawmakers in Iowa are currently trying to change the way Iowa selects its judges. They’d like Iowans to believe that our judges are politically appointed and partisan. This, however, is not the case.
Why would we want to change a successful non-partisan, merit-based system for selecting Iowa’s judges? Voters made merit selection of judges part of an Amendment to the Iowa Constitution in 1962 when Iowa’s voters decided this was the fairest way to select judges. It is a process that is respected nationwide as a model for a fair and impartial method of appointing judges.
This system minimizes the influence of political parties and special interest groups in the process and focuses selection of Iowa’s judges on each judge’s professional qualifications. Through regular retention votes, it allows the voters to have the final say about who serves as a judge.
If you’re hoping as I am that we can get beyond all the partisanship in our government, you won’t find any better example of a successful process than Iowa’s current judicial selection process.
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If you oppose changing it, before the politicians go any farther down this road (and they have already started), let your representatives and the governor know.
Linda Long, Cresco