Regular readers will note that we have called for changes to the judicial selection process in Iowa for some time. Certainly we we were not the only ones seeing the liberal bias (law culture and otherwise) that is practically built-in to the current process.
Legislation has now been introduced to reduce the influence of the state bar association which is saturated with products of liberal bias in the state’s law schools ,which produces by far most of the state’s attorneys and therefore judges.
What exists of the political process, the political science of the constitution, should not be owned by lawyers. The political science of the constitution is not so obscure that is unavailable to every citizen. But if the system builds in a certain ilk as to who can be effectively nominated then that system broadly controls the legal results.
Under the present system the judicial selection bias too often provides little real alternative even though the legal community does produce lawyers who as judges would respect the core documents they are obliged to uphold.
The people are governed by the constitution and laws consistent with it and therefore the people should have a better system to govern the selection of those that seek to redefine the law. Too often having to settle for Tweedledee 1, 2 or 3 or being saddled with little alternative after the fact (retention votes) s not a good system if the judicial philosophy is oriented toward judge-made-law rather than application of the law. If the system builds in a certain ilk as to who can be effectively nominated then that system controls
Even the existing process, modeled after the so-called Missouri Plan, recognizes the importance of citizen involvement as it provides for retention votes regarding judges. But the plan is loaded toward the bar association in the key nomination and selection process and that is loaded with products of law educators liberal politcal bias and an association bias that creeps in as well. The bias is so bad that conservative professors are practically blocked from teaching at the University of Iowa Law School* and what we have heard about the only other school Drake University Law School, is hardly comforting.
This article appearing at Caffeinated Thoughts provides a report and analysis of recently introduced legislation to reform the system. It requires some concentration as to the process, perhaps a chart will be produced to help visualize the changes for a quick scan, but clearly the proposal shifts more emphasis to the people and their representatives. Improvements in the hearing process are indicated and key as well.
*more on the veracity of that figure in a subsequent article