Most people are familiar with Shakespeare’s famous words spoken by Dick the Butcher in Henry VI (Part II) , "The first thing we must do is kill all the lawyers." The majority of people perceive this as a lawyer joke, however, in reality Shakespeare realized that the surest way to chaos and tyranny even then was to remove the guardians of independent thinking.
But sadly, Shakespeare’s character has now taken the form of out-state-interests who seek to take over our Iowa judiciary after an Indiana lawyer filed a federal lawsuit this week claiming that lawyers have too much say in the judicial selection process in Iowa. The goal is to deny the current Iowa State Bar Association members on the Judicial Nominating Commission the opportunity to vote on the short list of judicial candidates to be given to the governor. According to James Bopp, Jr., Iowa lawyers have a "stranglehold" on our Iowa judiciary. Similar lawsuits like the one filed by Bopp in Iowa have been dismissed in other states.
In my previous post regarding the Iowa judiciary I warned this would happen. Those that complained about judicial activism in our last retention election resulting in the ouster of three Iowa Supreme Court justices are now seeking judicial activism themselves. Iowans need to stand up and support an independent judiciary free from the whims of out-of-state political interest groups. Iowans should not be misled. Those that seek to oust our judges and change our judicial selection process don’t care a wit about how our judicial system works. The only goal is to push their political agenda. Nothing more. Nothing less.
*The views expressed in this blog post are my own and are not intended to speak for or represent the views of the other lawyers in Brick Gentry, P.C.