A plan to give Iowa governors near-total control of the state’s main judicial nominating commissions (State Nominating Commission for appellate courts & District Nominating Commissions for District Court judges) cleared its first legislative hurdle.
SF 327 was approved by a Senate Judiciary subcommittee on March 1. The bill removes all attorney-members selected by attorneys in the state (or judicial district), save for one non-voting advisory member.
Instead, the governor would be allowed to appoint effectively all voting members of the commissions. The judge-member would continue to serve as chair only be allowed to vote in case of a tie.
Proponents have argued for the need to remove lawyers as having too much sway over the non-attorney members of the commissions.
The bill now goes to the full Senate Judiciary Committee.