Iowa JNC

District Judicial Nominating Commissions

District judicial nominating commissions are responsible for screening applicants and selecting nominees for district judge, district associate judge, associate juvenile judge, and associate probate judge vacancies.  There is a nominating commission for each of Iowa's fourteen judicial election subdistricts.  Each district commission has eleven members, including a chair, who is the most senior district court judge in the district, five members elected by lawyers, and five nonlawyer members appointed by the governor.  Each commissioner, except the chair, serves a six-year term.  District nominating commissions provide the governor with a slate of two nominees from which to make an appointment to the district court.


District Map with Counties and SubDistricts

To find a listing of a district’s commission members, the district internal rules, judicial vacancies, judicial nominees, and where to send written comments about the qualifications of applicants for judicial vacancies, click the links below.


Within 60 days of receiving the vacancy notice from the secretary of state, the commission must submit the names of nominees to the governor. The commission selects two nominees for appointment.

Judicial Officers

  • The Iowa Constitution requires each Iowa judge to be:
    • A  lawyer admitted to practice law in Iowa
    • A resident of the state, district, or county to which they are nominated 
    • Of an age as they can serve a full term of office before reaching age 72
  • Oath of office


  • Applicants for district judge, district associate judge, associate juvenile judge, and associate probate judge vacancies must reside in the judicial election district to which a vacancy exists or a county contiguous to it. If appointed, the judge must be a resident of the judicial election district where the vacancy existed for the entire term in office. 
  • District Court and DAJ Application
  • District Court and DAJ Background Information
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