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Lawsuit: Iowa Judicial Retention Vote Unconstitutional

December 17, 2010
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Three Des Moines-area attorneys believe the retention vote that ousted three Iowa Supreme Court justices was illegal because the Iowa Constitution mandates the votes for judges be “on a separate ballot.”

The lawsuit filed this week contends that the ballots cast Nov. 2 were illegal because a 1962 amendment to the state constitution says judges “shall at such judicial election stand for retention in office on a separate ballot which shall submit the question of whether such judge shall be retained in office for the tenure prescribed for such office….”

The Legislature later approved putting the names of all judges on one ballot, the lawsuit says.

But the lawyers argue that “combining on a single ballot all elections, including judicial elections, issues, and measures is a facial violation of Iowa Constitution Article V Section 17.”

The lawsuit asks that the three justices serve until the next general election or until a special election using lawful separate ballots.

via Lawsuit says Iowa judicial retention vote was illegal | desmoinesregister.com | The Des Moines Register.