Thursday, February 24, 2011

Iowa Supreme Court appointees:
Whom Branstad passed over

University of Iowa law professor Angela Onwuachi-Willig
Now that Iowa's Republican governor has returned the state supreme court to an assemblage of white males by appointing Iowa District Court Judge Bruce Zager, Iowa Court of Appeals Judge Edward Mansfield, and Pleasant Valley attorney Thomas Waterman to the bench, the Daily Iowan has taken a look at the sole female of nine nominees, University of Iowa law Professor Angela Onwuachi-Willig, whom Branstad passed over.
“I was sorry to see [Professor Onwuachi] not appointed because she would have been a good justice — she’s intelligent, sensitive, and thoughtful,” said UI clinical law Professor Lois Cox.
     UI law Professor Sheldon Kurtz agreed.
     “I think she would have made a great justice,” Kurtz said. “But I’m glad she’s still my colleague.”
     Cox congratulated the new justices, but called out the bench’s lack of diversity.
     “I am absolutely not against the three people appointed — I believe they will make fine justices,” she said. “But I think it’s a shame that we have a state Supreme Court in which there is no gender and ethnic diversity. I think women and people of color bring useful perspectives to the court.”
     ...“My goal was to choose Supreme Court justices, from the available slate of candidates, who are most likely to faithfully interpret the laws and Constitution, and respect the separation of powers,” Branstad said.

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