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Balance of Power

Lawmakers Eye Takeover of Iowa Judicial Picks

Unified Republican government in the Iowa statehouse looks to mean a transformation of the state's judicial selection process. GOP powerbrokers in the legislature are moving this week to give themselves almost unfettered power to pick judges, and Gov. Kim Reynolds says she's keen on the idea.

The Des Moines Register got a copy of the bill, which would undo central provisions of a merit-based selection process that Iowans added to their state Constitution more than half a century ago. Under the proposal, a judicial nominating committee – currently dominated by attorneys from across the state – would instead become the province of the legislative leadership.

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