Iowa Supreme Court Decisions

Seven justices serve on the Iowa Supreme Court, which is the first court to which an appeal is sent from a trial court in Iowa. The Supreme Court will decide whether to review the appeal or send the appeal to the Iowa Court of Appeals. The majority of the cases that are appealed to the Supreme Court involve criminal, family, or juvenile matters. The Court supervises lower courts in Iowa and administers the affairs of the judicial branch.

A candidate for the Supreme Court must be admitted to practice law in the state, and they also must be able to complete an eight-year term before they turn 72, which is the mandatory retirement age for judges in Iowa. The State Judicial Nominating Commission handles the initial stage of evaluating candidates, since Iowa uses a commission-selection, political appointment system of selecting justices. The Commission provides a list of candidates to the Governor, who will make the final appointment. However, once a justice has been appointed, they must go through a retention election in the first general election after they have served for one year. They will serve the full eight-year term only if they win the retention election. Otherwise, they must leave the Court at the end of the year in which the election is held. The Chief Justice is elected by the other justices of the Court, and they serve for the same term as they would if they were an ordinary justice.

In addition to being voted out in a retention election, there are two ways in which a justice may be removed from the Iowa Supreme Court. First, they may be removed if they are impeached by a majority vote of the Iowa House of Representatives and then convicted by a two-thirds vote of the Iowa Senate. A justice also may be removed if the Supreme Court determines that this is appropriate based on a recommendation by the Iowa Judicial Qualifications Commission.

Browse Opinions From the Iowa Supreme Court

Recent Decisions From the Iowa Supreme Court
State v. Valdez
Date: October 18, 2019
Docket Number: 18-0955
Young v. Iowa City Community School District
Date: October 18, 2019
Docket Number: 18-1427
State v. Heard  
Date: October 11, 2019
Docket Number: 17-1075

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the district court's judgment convicting Defendant of first-degree murder, holding that Defendant's Sixth Amendment rights of confrontation or compulsory process were not violated when the dist...

State v. Trane  
Date: October 11, 2019
Docket Number: 18-0825

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court conditionally remanded this case involving Defendant's conviction for assault with attempt to commit sexual abuse; pattern, practice, or scheme to engage in sexual exploitation by a counselor or therapi...

In the Interest of T.G., N.G., A.G., and J.G., Minor Children
Date: September 27, 2019
Docket Number: 19-0731
State v. Macke  
Date: September 13, 2019
Docket Number: 18-0839

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated Defendant's sentence in connection with her Alford plea to four counts of child endangerment entered pursuant to a plea agreement, holding that the State breached the plea agreement with Defenda...

State v. Stanton  
Date: September 13, 2019
Docket Number: 19-0177

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the magistrate's dismissal of three pending misdemeanor charges against Defendant based on the legal proposition that Iowa courts lack jurisdiction over crimes committed on the Meskwaki Settlem...

Iowa Supreme Court Att'y Disciplinary Bd. v. Curtis W. Den Beste
Date: September 13, 2019
Docket Number: 19-0360
State v. Moore  
Date: September 6, 2019
Docket Number: 17-1822

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part and vacated in part the decision of the court of appeals affirming Defendant's conviction and sentence for child endangerment resulting in serious injury, holding that the part of the s...

Iowa Supreme Ct. Att'y Disciplinary Bd. v. Matthew L. Noel
Date: September 6, 2019
Docket Number: 19-0661
Iowa Supreme Ct. Att’y Disciplinary Bd v. Kyle L. Earley
Date: September 6, 2019
Docket Number: 19-0662
Iowa Supreme Ct. Att’y Disciplinary Bd. v. Johnathan Lee Sears
Date: September 6, 2019
Docket Number: 19-0712
State v. Brown  
Date: June 28, 2019
Docket Number: 17-0367

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court denying Defendant's motion to suppress all evidence obtained after a stop of his vehicle, holding that the subjective motivations of an individual officer for...

State v. Haas  
Date: June 28, 2019
Docket Number: 17-1798

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court denying Defendant's motion to suppress evidence discovered by law enforcement after a stop of Defendant's automobile that resulted in her arrest for driving w...

Bonilla v. Iowa Board of Parole  
Date: June 28, 2019
Docket Number: 18-0477

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court ruling in favor of the Iowa Parole Board (Board) as to Petitioner's action challenging the manner in which the Board considers whether persons convicted of of...

The opinions published on Justia State Caselaw are sourced from individual state court sites. These court opinions may not be the official published versions, and you should check your local court rules before citing to them. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site, or the information linked to on the state site.