Reynolds’ missed judge appointment deadline raises question
Gov. Kim Reynolds failed to document the appointment of a district court judge by a mandated deadline in June and some attorneys are saying it’s a slipup that has cast doubt on the judge’s authority to make rulings.
Under the Iowa Constitution, Reynolds had until June 21 to pick a judge for the eastern Iowa 6th Judicial District from two names submitted by a judicial nominating commission.
She says she told her chief of staff she’d chosen attorney Jason Besler that day but there is no proof and Besler wasn’t called until four days later. Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady says he takes her word that she made the verbal appointment.
Guy Cook, an attorney who served on a state judicial nominating commission, says Besler’s appointment could create problems if someone who appears before him challenges his authority.
Gary Dickey, an Iowa lawyer who served as former Gov. Tom Vilsack’s chief attorney, says he plans to ask Cady to ratify the appointment to avoid such a challenge.
The issue arose after Bleeding Heartland, a blog that covers Iowa politics, obtained documents about the appointment.