Select a State:

Judicial Selection in the States: Iowa

Overview

News

A plan to restructure North Carolina s entire judicial election map was approved in committee earlier this week but appears to have been blocked from...

Read More...

News reports indicate that at least two members of the New Jersey Senate plan to introduced a constitutional amendment to require New Jersey supreme court...

Read More...

When Texas chief justice in his State of the Judiciary address brought up the issue of ending straight ticket voting (STV) for judicial races I...

Read More...

Learn more about the 74 Iowa judges and justices up...

Read More...

The Iowa judiciary is composed of two appellate courts--the supreme court and the court of appeals -- and the unified district court. Iowa judges are chosen through merit selection, where a nominating commission identifies a list of highly qualified candidates and the governor appoints a judge from that list. After one year in office, and then at regular intervals, judges stand in retention elections. Since Iowa adopted a merit plan with retention elections, seven judges have not been retained.

To educate voters regarding judges who are standing for retention, the web site of the Iowa judicial branch provides basic information such as year of appointment to the bench, prior legal experience, law school and undergraduate degrees, professional association memberships, and honors and awards. In addition, the Iowa State Bar Association conducts a poll asking its members whether they approve of judges who are up for retention. The results of the poll are made public prior to the election.