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Lawyer Sues Gov. Reynolds Over New Judicial Nominating Law

Sep 25, 2019

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Des Moines lawyer is suing Gov. Kim Reynolds and other state officials, claiming a new law that gave the governor more power over the commission that selects supreme court and appeals court judges is unconstitutional.  It's the second such lawsuit filed in state court challenging the change that Reynolds signed into law in May.

The new case was filed Sept. 11 by Thomas Duff, a trial lawyer for 30 years who interviewed to be an Iowa Court of Appeals judge but wasn't chosen as a finalist by the State Judicial Nominating Commission.

He alleges the law is unconstitutional in part because it violates the separation of powers article of the state constitution.  The first lawsuit filed by a group of Democratic legislators and a member of the commission was dismissed in June. That decision is on appeal to the Iowa Supreme Court.  The attorney general's office had no comment and a spokesman for Reynolds didn't respond to a message.