Iowa’s highest court is the Iowa Supreme Court. The court has six justices and one chief justice. The justices on the supreme court elect the chief justice by majority vote, and the term of chief justice corresponds with the term of the justice serving in that capacity. (Source: Iowa Supreme Court)
The governor appoints an Iowa Supreme Court justice from a list provided by a judicial nominating commission. After at least one year on the court, a justice may stand for an eight-year term in an unopposed yes/no retention vote at the time of Iowa’s next general election. Justices may stand for additional terms in the same retention process. When a seat on the court opens in the middle of a justice’s term, the governor appoints a judicial candidate from a list provided by a judicial nominating commission. There are no term limits. The mandatory retirement age is 72.
Iowa has had two constitutions adopted in 1846 and 1857. As of January 1, 2022, it had 54 amendments. (Source: Council of State Governments)
Courts are considering new foundations for abortion rights, while incremental challenges may slowly chip away at Dobbs.
The state’s highest court will consider whether state legislators can be ordered to produce communications with members of the public in a voting rights case.
The decision preserves a lower court order blocking a six-week abortion ban.
Though advocates have found early success in federal courts, they may find even more effective ways to protect LGBTQ+ rights through state courts.
The Washington Supreme Court's changing interpretation of its state "Privileges or Immunities" Clause shows how state courts can diverge from federal precedent over time.