Iowa JNC

State Judicial Nominating Commission Procedures

The process begins when a judge submits a retirement or resignation letter to the governor and secretary of state. With the death of a sitting judge, the clerk of court will submit written notification to the secretary of state. The process timeline can change if the chief justice delays the appointment due to budget cuts.

The secretary of state will notify the governor of the judicial vacancy.

Within 10 days of receiving a vacancy notice, the governor will call a commission meeting. At the meeting, the commission will establish the procedure for filling the vacancy. The commission will then send notices of the vacancy to lawyers with instructions on how to apply and issue a new release.

The commission has 60 days after receiving notice of the vacancy from the governor to submit three names to the governor for a supreme court vacancy and five names to the governor for a court of appeals vacancy. The commission will meet to interview applicants, deliberate on the candidates, and certify a list of nominees to the governor. The interviews are open to the public. 

The governor has 30 days to fill the vacancy from the list of nominees.

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