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Reynolds Appoints Judge Susan Christensen to Iowa Supreme Court

susan christensen
Katarina Sostaric/IPR file
Iowa Supreme Court apointee Judge Susan Christensen speaks at the Iowa Capitol Wednesday, August 1, 2018.

Gov. Kim Reynolds appointed District Court Judge Susan Christensen to the Iowa Supreme Court Wednesday to take the place of retiring Justice Bruce Zager.

Christensen, 56, lives in Harlan and works in Iowa’s Fourth Judicial District. She has worked in family and juvenile law and has served as an assistant county attorney.

“I believe that Judge Christensen will bring that heart and practical perspective to the Supreme Court,” Reynolds said. “She understands how the Supreme Court’s decisions affect Iowans every day in district courts across the state.”

Christensen will be the third woman to ever serve on the Iowa Supreme Court, and her appointment means Iowa will no longer be the only state with no women on its highest court.

Christensen said she is humbled to be appointed to the Iowa Supreme Court by the state’s first female governor.

“Thank you, Governor Reynolds, for believing in me and entrusting me with this incredible honor and responsibility,” Christensen said. “And you can count on me to support the constitution and faithfully and impartially discharge my duties to the best of my ability.”

Reynolds chose Christensen from three nominees selected by the State Judicial Nominating Commission. The commission interviewed 21 applicants in July.

Chief Justice Mark Cady released a statement welcoming Christensen.

“She is extremely well qualified and is a fine jurist,” Cady said. “I look forward to serving with her and to having her vision and experience become a part of our state’s highest court.”

Zager retires Sept. 3. Christensen will be sworn in Sept. 4.

Christensen will face a retention vote in the 2020 election.

Katarina Sostaric is IPR's State Government Reporter