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Retired Federal Judge Remembers Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice

Siouxland Public Media

The search for a replacement for the Chief Justice of the Iowa Supreme Court Mark Cady will start soon.  Cady died unexpectedly of a heart attack a week ago at the age of 66.

Cady served on the state’s high court for 21 years and was even in charge of the nationwide Conference of Chief Justices.

“Mark Cady touched the lives of so many people, so it was a tragic loss for the state and for the nation.”

That’s former federal judge Mark Bennett of the northern district of Iowa.  Bennett served on the bench in Sioux City and is currently a faculty member at the Drake Law School in Des Moines. 


He talked to Siouxland Public Media about his thoughts on the commission that nominates future Iowa Supreme Court judges.

The controversial new law allows the governor to appoint a majority of the 17-member panel.

“We have tremendous, tremendous woman and men in the Iowa judiciary and they are very well qualified and I’m sure the commission will pick some exceptionally well qualified people.”

“No one can fill Justice Cady’s spot, but that spot it needs to be filed.  And, I’m sure the commission will nominee for the governor to consider.” 

Bennett says people need to give the new nominating system a chance to work and he’s optimistic it will.

Credit Iowa Supreme Court

Justice David Wiggins will serve as acting Chief Justice of the Iowa Supreme Court until the spot is filled. 

A representative for the Supreme Court says a date hasn’t been set yet for the nominating committee to take applications. 

They’ll have 60 days to gather applications.

Governor Kim Reynolds will then select the new justice out of three finalists picked by the committee.