Iowa Supreme Court elects Susan Christensen as next chief justice

Iowa News

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP/KCAU) – The Iowa Supreme Court has selected its next chief justice.

Justice Susan Christensen, of Harlan, will succeed Chief Justice Mark Cady, who passed away suddenly on November 15 from a heart attack.

Justice David Wiggins has been serving as acting chief justice since Chief Justice Cady’s passing.

Justice Christensen will be the second woman to serve as the chief justice of the Iowa Supreme Court.

“I am honored to be selected by my colleagues as chief justice of the Iowa Supreme Court,” Chief Justice Christensen said. “Three months ago, our court faced a sudden crisis with the unexpected death of Chief Justice Cady. I am deeply appreciative of the immediate leadership by acting Chief Justice David Wiggins. He provided the stability to push forward with the court’s work while the judicial branch and entire state grieved for the Cady family. As chief justice, I will maintain my passion for child welfare and juvenile justice and do my best to lead Iowa’s judiciary in a manner which provides all 99 counties with fair and impartial justice.”

She’s previously served on the Supreme Court’s Family Law Pro Se Forms Committee, Child Support Guidelines Review Committee, and Parents Representation Standards Committee.

Chief Justice Christensen was appointed to the Iowa Supreme Court in 2018 by Governor Reynolds as a part of a new more conservatively constituted court.

Reynolds has named three justices to the court since becoming governor and will name a fourth after acting Chief Justice David Wiggins retires next month.

She will be up for retention in November 2020.

Chief Justice Christensen was previously appointed as a district associate judge in 2007 and district court judge in 2015.

She practiced law in Harlan for 16 years before becoming a judge.

Chief Justice Christensen was born and raised in Harlan, Iowa.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in Judson College in 1988 and a law degree from Creighton University School of Law in 1991.

She’s married with five children and five grandchildren.

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