Newton attorney Beth Walker will be very busy later this month as she participates in the interviewing process for the 61 Iowans who have applied with the State Judicial Nominating Commission to fill the three vacancies on the Iowa Supreme Court.
As a lawyer-elected member of the commission, Walker and the other 14 members will begin meeting the morning of Jan. 24 in the Iowa Supreme Court Courtroom on the fourth floor of the Judicial Building in Des Moines to interview the applicants.
The public is invited to observe the interviews in the courtroom. The interviews will also be available for viewing over the Internet for those unable to attend in person. The interviewing process is anticipated to take several days.
Once the interviews are completed, the commission will begin deliberations to select a slate of nine nominees from the group of applicants. Once selected, the commission will forward those names to Gov. Terry Branstad who then has 30 days in which to appoint the three new justices.
A summary resume of each of the applicants can be found here. The list of applicants is comprised of lawyers from throughout the state, current sitting district court judges and a former federal prosecutor. No attorneys from Jasper County applied. Additional materials submitted by each candidate will be posted to the Iowa Judicial Branch web site by Jan. 18.
The nominating commission is welcoming written comments from the public about the qualifications of any of the applicants. Comments must be submitted to the State Court Administrator, who serves as the commission secretary, by the conclusion of all the interviews. A schedule of the interview times will soon be posted on the Judicial Branch web site. Send comments to SupCtNom@iowacourts.govor by mailing them to the Court Administrator, Iowa Judicial Building, 1111 E. Court Ave., Des Moines, 50319.
The nominating commission is composed of the chair, who is the senior judge on the Iowa Supreme Court other than the chief justice, seven lawyer commissioners elected by lawyers licensed in Iowa and seven non-lawyer commissioners appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Iowa Senate. With the exception of the chair, membership is limited to one six-year staggered term. The Iowa Constitution requires that commission members be selected without regard to political affiliation.