Iowa Judicial Nominating Commission
In 1962, the people of Iowa approved a constitutional amendment that established a merit selection system for the selection of all appellate and district court judges. The Iowa Code of Judicial Conduct, a code of ethics for judges, was approved by the Iowa Supreme Court in 1973. In addition, the legislature created a seven member Commission on Judicial Qualifications in 1973. The commission, which was approved by voters in an amendment to the Iowa Constitution in 1972, was set up to investigate and evaluate complaints about the conduct of judicial officers.
Iowa State Constitution
Section 16 States: There shall be a state judicial nominating commission. Such commission shall make nominations to fill vacancies in the supreme court. Until July 4, 1973, and thereafter unless otherwise provided by law, the state judicial nominating commission shall be composed and selected as follows: There shall be not less than three nor more than eight appointive members, as provided by law, and an equal number of elective members on such commission, all of whom shall be electors of the state. The appointive members shall be appointed by the governor subject to confirmation by the senate. The elective members shall be elected by the resident members of the bar of the state. The judge of the supreme court who is senior in length of service on said court, other than the chief justice, shall also be a member of such commission and shall be its chairman.
There shall be a district judicial nominating commission in each judicial district of the state. Such commissions shall make nominations to fill vacancies in the district court within their respective districts. Until July 4, 1973, and thereafter unless otherwise provided by law, district judicial nominating commissions shall be composed and selected as follows: There shall be not less than three nor more than six appointive members, as provided by law, and an equal number of elective members on each such commission, all of whom shall be electors of the district. The appointive members shall be appointed by the governor. The elective members shall be elected by the resident members of the bar of the district. The district judge of such district who is senior in length of service shall also be a member of such commission and shall be its chairman.
Due consideration shall be given to area representation in the appointment and election of judicial nominating commission members. Appointive and elective members of judicial nominating commissions shall serve for six-year terms, shall be ineligible for a second six-year term on the same commission, shall hold no office of profit of the United States or of the state during their terms, shall be chosen without reference to political affiliation, and shall have such other qualifications as may be prescribed by law. As near as may be, the terms of one-third of such members shall expire every two years. Added 1962, Amendment 
Selecting Supreme Court Justices in Iowa
The goal of commission based selection in Iowa is to promote professional qualifications and remove judicial selection from partisan politics. Nominees for judgeships are selected by nominating commissions. to select three nominees to submit to the Governor. The vacancy shall be filled by appointment by the Governor from the list of nominees. The governor then makes the appointment from the slate of nominees. One year after appointment and again at the end of their term of office, judges and justices stand for retention in office at the general election. Citizens have the opportunity to vote whether or not a judge is retained.
Composition of the Commission
The Iowa State Judicial Nominating Commission is responsible for nominating supreme court justices and filling vacancies on the state's court of appeals and in its circuit courts. Laywer members of the judicial nominating commission are elected by the Iowa State Bar Association while citizen members are appointed on by the Governor and are confirmed in the legislature.