Court Won't Hear Challenge to Iowa Judicial System

FILE - This June 20, 2012, file photo shows a view of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington. With four justices in their seventies, odds are good that whoever is elected in November will have a chance to fill at least one Supreme Court seat. The next justice could dramatically alter the direction of a court closely divided between conservatives and liberals. One new face on the bench could mean a sea change in how millions get health care, shape the rights of gay Americans and much more. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)


By Kara Kelly

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court won't hear an appeal challenging the makeup of an Iowa commission that nominates the state's Supreme Court and Court of Appeals members.

The high court on Monday refused to hear an appeal from Iowa conservatives challenging the Judicial Nominating Commission's makeup.

The Iowa Bar Association elects seven of the 15 commissioners. The chair is a member of the Iowa Supreme Court, while seven other commissioners are appointed by the governor, a system adopted by voters in 1962. The commission recommends finalists to the governor, who makes the final decision.

The lawsuit argued the commission gives too much influence to lawyers and is unconstitutional because non-lawyers have no say in those appointments.

Lower courts have said the system does not violate ordinary citizens' rights.

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