Jan 20 2011
The Des Moines Register reports that a federal judge has dismissed the lawsuit challenging the presence of lawyers elected by lawyers on Iowa’s nominating commission. The lawsuit, brought by Indiana based lawyer James Bopp, contended that these seven lawyer members should be excluded from the nomination process. The suit argued that the procedure violated the constitutional equal protection rights of the four Iowan plaintiffs.
United States District Court Judge Robert Pratt dismissed the case, calling these arguments “fatally flawed.” Describing his reasoning, Judge Pratt wrote in the ruling:
“Undoubtedly, the right to vote for political representatives is the bedrock of American democracy. In this case, however, plaintiffs are asking the court to radically expand the scope of this fundamental right beyond all existing precedent and to recognize an entirely new 14th Amendment ‘right’ to greater influence the selection of judges.”
An Iowa press release described Attorney General Tom Miller’s response to the decision: “Today Judge Pratt very soundly upheld the will of the people of Iowa. This is a significant ruling that affirms our right as citizens to choose how we select our Supreme Court Justices.”