FILE - In this Jan. 18, 2018, file photo, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds delivers her inaugural address in Des Moines, Iowa. Nearly 50 years after Iowa moved to reduce partisanship in its court system, Republicans who control the governor's office and the Legislature say it's time to give politicians greater control. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

Tradition of nonpartisan selection of judges may end in Iowa

February 17, 2019 - 11:04 am

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Nearly 50 years after Iowa moved to reduce partisanship in its court system, Republicans who control the governor's office and the Legislature say it's time to give politicians greater control.

Legislative leaders want to change how judges are chosen after being repeatedly frustrated by court rulings on topics like gay marriage and abortion.

The Iowa proposal appears to be part of a national effort in conservative states to bring the courts into sync with the other branches of government.

Iowa is among at least four states where Republican lawmakers are trying to lessen the role of attorneys on judicial nominating panels, a move some critics say could lessen public faith in the judiciary.

If the change is approved in Iowa, Republicans would name 12 of 16 available positions.

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