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Selecting judges

March 13, 2019
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Letter to the Editor:

One of the decisions being made by the Iowa legislature is changing the way justices are selected currently using legislators, the governor, and lawyers. Two complaints about this change is that it puts more politicians into the selection process and that the system has worked perfectly well for decades, so there is no need to change.

I asked why inserting more politicians was part of the plan. As I understood the explanation, a major reason was that it actually introduced more of the public's opinion into the proposed change because legislators were elected by the people. However, those who question the need to fix something that doesn't need fixing believe that the actual motivation is to achieve a judicial system that will support right to birth measures. Right to birth folks are passionate about their belief, but they have suffered more than one setback in the Iowa courts. Therefore, the thought is that the current proposed change is actually trying to skew the judicial system in order to nullify pro choice.

Some conservatives blame their lack of support in the courts on the third deciding component - lawyers. They feel that lawyers tend to be liberal. However, it could seem the process could actually be slanted in the opposite direction as two of the entities are the conservative legislature and conservative governor. But it is possible the right to birth peoples' disfavor in the courts is a result, not of justices' personal beliefs but actually because of the law - Roe v. Wade that leqalized abortion. Justices first obligation is supposed to be following the law and not their own political leanings or the leanings of whatever party is in power. (Also, lawyers would know a lot more about the qualifications and competency of judicial candidates than I or a legislator would know.) There surely must be a better way for the right to birth folks to gain acceptance for their views rather than politicizing the judicial system.

A recent poll showed that 54% of Iowans want to keep the current system intact while 33% want change. (margin of error 3.5) If legislators honestly want to reflect the will of the people in this matter, they no longer need to support a change as it seems the people they represent do not favor it.

Anne Michael

Tama

 
 

 

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