5 to be interviewed for Iowa Supreme Court vacancy | Govt-and-politics

ERIN MURPHY Courier Des Moines Bureau

DES MOINES — Five applicants will be interviewed for an opening on the Iowa Supreme Court that will occur when Justice Brent Appel retires next month, the court announced in a news release Monday.

When Gov. Kim Reynolds appoints the new justice, it will be her fifth appointment to the seven-member court.

All five candidates will be interviewed June 27 by the state’s judicial nominating commission.

The 17-member commission will select three finalists, after which Reynolds will have 30 days to select one of the finalists as the next justice.

When she makes this next selection, Reynolds will have appointed five Iowa Supreme Court justices during her six years in office.

Appel is the court’s last remaining member who was appointed by a Democratic governor — Tom Vilsack in 2006. Appel was retained by voters in the 2016 judicial retention elections.

Appel this summer turns 72, the age at which Iowa judges are required by law to retire.

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The five candidates scheduled to be interviewed next Monday are:

  • Timothy Gartin, a lawyer with Hastings, Gartin & Boettger in Ames. Gartin served on the Ames City Council and in 2010 ran for the Iowa Senate as a Republican.
  • Alan Heavens, a 1st District judge from Garnavillo. Heavens is a former Clayton County attorney.
  • David May, an Iowa Court of Appeals judge from Polk City. May was a finalist for an Iowa Supreme Court vacancy in 2020, an opening that was filled by Matt McDermott after the retirement of former Justice David Wiggins.
  • William Miller, a lawyer with Dorsey & Whitney in Des Moines. Miller, who specializes in business law, has interviewed for a previous Iowa Supreme Court vacancy.
  • Patrick Tott, the 3rd District’s chief judge, from Sioux City. Tott has also interviewed for an Iowa Supreme Court opening in the past. He was one of two Iowa judges who ruled in a 2020 lawsuit that Iowa county elections officials erred in mailing out absentee ballot request forms with some personal information filled in.

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