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What's Next For The Iowa Supreme Court

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The process to fill former Justice Mark Cady's seat in the Iowa Supreme Court is ongoing after he died last Friday of a heart attack.

Iowa Supreme Court Justice Mark Cady died suddenly last Friday at the age of 66, leaving behind both a vacancy and a new era for the court. After Cady's unexpected heart attack, Justice David Wiggins has taken over as acting chief justice while the process to fill Cady's seat begins. 

UI Law Professor Todd Pettys weighs in on the future of the Iowa Supreme Court without Cady. He says the Judicial Nominating Commission will now solicit applications and choose three finalists to fill the vacancy. Gov. Kim Reynolds will choose one of the three as Iowa's newest Supreme Court Justice by late February. Pettys says although some speculate the court will move in a more conservative direction, it is difficult to know at this time. 

Former Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Martha Ternus also joins host Ben Kieffer to reflect on the legacy of Cady, who was well-known for authoring the 2009 court opinion that made Iowa the third state to legalize same-sex marriage. She says she remembers Cady as being very principled, compassionate, and committed to the rule of law.

"That is perhaps one of the most outstanding qualities of Mark Cady," Ternus says. "He viewed the courts as there for the people, which they are. But that permeated his approach to his job and the priorities he set in his administration of the courts."

Later on this 'News Buzz' edition of River to River, a wide variety of guests join to unpack the latest news across Iowa, such as a change to Minor League Baseball. Major League Baseball is deaffiliating with 42 minor league baseball teams, including three in Iowa. 

Guests include:

  • Marsha Ternus, former Chief Justice of the Iowa Supreme Court
  • Todd Pettys, University of Iowa law professor
  • Daniel Finney, Des Moines Register storyteller
  • Brianne Pfannenstiel, Des Moines Register chief politics reporter
  • Katie Peikes, IPR Western Iowa reporter
  • Matt Alvarez, IPR producer
  • Tony Dehner, IPR Studio One host
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Katelyn Harrop is a producer for IPR's River to River and Talk of Iowa