Iowa chief justice recuses from judge selection law appeal

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady has removed himself from considering a lawsuit challenging a new law that shortens his term as chief justice and gives the governor more power over the commission that selects supreme court and appeals court judges.

In an order signed Friday, Cady says the new law challenged in the lawsuit reduces his eight-year term as chief justice by three years, forcing him to step down as chief in 2021 and cutting his pay by about $8,000 a year.

He says a reasonable person could conclude he has a personal interest in the outcome and the case must be resolved in a way that ensures public trust in the courts.

The law signed by Gov. Kim Reynolds in May was challenged by several Democratic lawmakers and a member of the judicial nominating commission. A judge appointed by Reynolds dismissed it in June, saying the legislators don’t have standing to sue. The Supreme Court must decide whether to uphold that decision or allow the case to proceed.

The other six justices on the court declined to recuse themselves.