Judicial Nominating Commission Begins Process for Selecting Nominees for Court of Appeals Print
News Releases - General Info
Written by Steve Davis   
Tuesday, 09 July 2013 09:59

Des Moines, July 5, 2013 - The State Judicial Nominating Commission, which is responsible for selecting nominees for appointment to the Iowa Court of Appeals, announced today it will begin accepting applications to fill the vacancy that will occur when Court of Appeals Chief Judge Larry J. Eisenhauer retires September 30, 2013.

The Commission has sixty days to send a list of three nominees to the Governor, who makes appointments to the court.

The deadline for applications is August 12, 2013. Any citizen may submit in writing to the secretary of the commission, or to any commissioner, the names of persons for consideration as a candidate for nomination and express views concerning such candidate. Once the application time has run, the Commission will release the names of all applicants along with information about each applicant's background, experience, and qualifications.   This list and other information about the nominating commission and Iowa's merit selection process will be available on the Iowa Judicial Branch website: www.iowacourts.gov.

The Commission has set aside August 21 and 22, 2013, to interview applicants. Balloting to select a slate of three nominees will take place on August 22, 2013. The interviews will be held in the Supreme Court courtroom and will be open to the public. The interviews will also be streamed live on the Internet.

The 17-member commission is composed of a chair, who is the senior justice of the supreme court other than the chief justice, eight lawyer commissioners elected by lawyers licensed to practice law in Iowa and eight non-lawyer commissioners appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Iowa Senate. With the exception of the commission chair, membership on the commission is limited to one six-year term. Terms are staggered. The Iowa Constitution requires that commission members be chosen without regard to political affiliation.

Iowa's process for selecting judges through the use of nominating commissions is known as merit selection. Iowa voters approved the merit selection process in 1962 by constitutional amendment. Merit selection is designed to emphasize the professional qualifications of applicants for judicial appointment and minimize partisan politics. In keeping with this design, the Commission puts applicants for judicial office through a rigorous and thorough screening by reviewing extensive information about each applicant's background, education, professional skills, and experience. After the interviews, the commission sends the governor a slate of nominees. Iowa law requires nominees to be chosen "upon the basis of their qualifications and without regard to political affiliation." The governor is required to pick the new judge from this slate.

Important Notice to Applicants: To be eligible for appointment to the court of appeals, applicants must be a resident of the state, licensed to practice law in Iowa, and must be of such age that they will be able to serve an initial term (i.e., through December 31, 2014) and one regular term of office (six years or until December 31, 2020) before reaching the age of 72. To be most favorably considered for balloting, applicants for the vacancy on the court of appeals created when Chief Judge Eisenhauer retires must file a letter of intent with the secretary of the commission by August 8, 2013, and must submit completed application forms to the commission on or before August 12, 2013.

The names and addresses of the commission members and secretary are:



Justice David Wiggins

1111 East Court Ave.

Des Moines, IA 50319


Lawyer Members

Henry Bevel

327 East 4th Street, Ste. 300

Waterloo, IA 50704


Suzan Boden

P.O. Box 1557

Sioux City, IA 51102-1557


Christine Conover

115 Third Street SE, Ste. 1200

Cedar Rapids, IA 52401


Martin Diaz

528 South Clinton Street

Iowa City, IA 52240


Connie Diekema

699 Walnut Street, Ste. 1900

Des Moines, IA 50309


Jeff Goodman

1501 42nd Street, Ste. 300

West Des Moines, IA 50266


John Gray

1128 Historic 4th Street

Sioux City, IA 51102-1557


Dorothy O'Brien

2322 East Kimberly Road, Ste. 100E

Davenport, IA 52807


Appointed Members

Scott Bailey

1956 Clemens Street

Otley, IA 50214-8560


John Bloom

4820 Elm Street

West Des Moines, IA 50265-2995


Elizabeth Doll

77 Pelican Drive

Council Bluffs, IA 51501


Kathy Pearson

150 Thompson Drive SE, #120

Cedar Rapids, IA 52403-1740


Patricia "Trish" Roberts

732 San Salvador Avenue

Carroll, IA 51401


Helen Sinclair

2208 560th Avenue

Melrose, IA 52569-8502


Steve Sukup

1405 North Shore Drive

Clear Lake, IA 50428-1237


Jerry Welter

102 Jayne Drive

Monticello, IA 52310-1819


Secretary of the Commission

David K. Boyd

State Court Administrator

1111 E. Court Avenue

Des Moines, IA 50319

(515) 281-5241


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