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Reynolds Appoints Dana Oxley To Iowa Supreme Court

Katarina Sostaric
Dana Oxley speaks at the Iowa Capitol after Gov. Kim Reynolds appointed her to the Iowa Supreme Court Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020.

Gov. Kim Reynolds appointed Dana Oxley to the Iowa Supreme Court Tuesday.

Oxley is an attorney with Shuttleworth & Ingersoll in Cedar Rapids, where she is focused on civil appellate work, and most of her clients are small businesses. Before that, she clerked for a federal judge on the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Oxley said she looks forward to serving the people of Iowa.

“I accept this appointment with great humbleness and honor,” Oxley said. “I promise to uphold the constitution and the laws of this great state, to decide cases fairly and impartially, and to administer justice to the best of my ability.”

This is the second time two women will simultaneously serve on the Iowa Supreme Court. Oxley joins Justice Susan Christensen, also appointed by the current governor.

Reynolds, a Republican, said it was hard to choose from the three names sent to her by the state judicial nominating commission. But she said she is very happy with her choice.

“She’s smart, she’s articulate, she’s hardworking,” Reynolds said. “She brings a breadth of experience to the court, especially with small business and her relationship with that, [and] working in the private sector.”

Reynolds said there should be more women in the courts, but said she does not make her decisions based on gender.

Oxley will fill a court vacancy left after the sudden death of Chief Justice Mark Cady in November.

Reynolds and Oxley said his legacy will be remembered.

“No one can replace Chief Justice Cady,” Oxley said. “But I will strive to emulate the kind spirit, the keen intellect, and the servant attitude that he brought to the role of an Iowa Supreme Court justice.”

This was Reynolds’ third Iowa Supreme Court appointment. She will get a fourth pick this year because Acting Chief Justice David Wiggins plans to retire in March.

Note: This story was corrected to remove a line stating this will be the first time two women served on the Iowa Supreme Court simultaneously. It is the second time. 

Katarina Sostaric is IPR's State Government Reporter