Appeals court to hear lawsuit over new judge selection law

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Court of Appeals will decide whether a lawsuit against the governor challenging a new law that changed the way Iowa picks some judges can move forward.

The Iowa Supreme Court on Thursday issued an order sending the case filed in May by a group of Democratic lawmakers and lawyers against Gov. Kim Reynolds to the appeals court.

The order signed by Justice Thomas Waterman said Chief Justice Mark Cady did not take part in the deliberations and that Justices David Wiggins and Brent Appel disagreed with the decision. They would have had the Supreme Court decide the case.

That means the four remaining justices, all Republican appointees, favored sending the case to the appeals court.

The case had been dismissed in June by a judge who said the lawmakers and other plaintiffs don’t have legal standing to challenge the law.

The new law signed by Reynolds in May gave the governor an additional appointment to the 17-member state judicial nominating commission, resulting in the governor having a majority of nine appointees.

The commission nominates justices for the Iowa Supreme Court and the Iowa Court of Appeals.

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