Election 2006: Judges

Between the Court of Appeals, District Court, and District Associate Judges, I am asked to decide if eleven different judges should keep their jobs. Prior to recieving my ballot, I knew nothing about any of them. I started looking for information on each of them, but I didn’t find much. But then I found the Iowa State Bar Association’s reviews of each judge. From a single document, I was able to see what dozens of lawyers thought about every judge in the state. The votes for retention are very high in general, so I set my bar at 90%. If more than 90% of the responding lawyers voted to retain a given judge, I did the same. If less than 90% of lawyers voted to retain, I voted against.

As a result, I voted for retention on Anuradha Vaitheswaran, Van D. Zimmer, John C. Miller, Eliza J. Ovrom, Artis I. Reis, Carol L. Coppola, Carol S. Egly, and Louise M. Jacobs. I voted against retention for Donna L. Paulsen, Gregory D. Brandt, and William A. Price. I expect all of these judges will be retained, but I hope the slightly lower percentages on election day might cause some judge to improve Punctuality for court proceedings or Clarity and quality of written opinions.

I went to the site that you recommended but still I found no answer to my question. I do not know their political leanings. Where can one go to find out?
Julie, I couldn't find any information about party affiliation for judges. I don't think they normally declare any. I believe all of the Court of Appeals judges were appointed by Vilsack, so that might indicate liberal tendencies. Other than that, I tried to find records of their case history, but I didn't find much that gave me any idea of political leanings. Please let me know if you find anything better.
I am glad to see others researching judges prior to the election. Although the Iowa Bar Association’s document is helpful, it is not always a good measurement on how well they are performing. I spend TOO MANY hours researching these judges and some of these judges should be voted out despite how other lawyers feel they are performing. For example, in a previous election, a district judge was found having sex with the district county attorney in the court house. She was disbarred and he got several months of unpaid vacation time.
By the way, here are a few resources if your many readers are inclined to research the judges before Election Day:

Arming Domestic Abusers: Failure of Iowa Courts to Uphold Federal Law That Prohibits Possession of Firearms to Domestic Abusers [PDF]

The Iowa State Bar Associate 2006 Judicial Plebiscite [PDF]

Iowans Concerned About Judges
Judges are just lawyers in fancy robes. Vote them all out until we can get Iowa's judicial system reformed.
I have to admit that I also voted for ppl (especially judges) based on content I found on the internet. I have strong views on certain subjects, so the US Rep was pretty easy for me to decide.
That is an interesting stance, Mikael. You do realize that each judge voted out will be replaced by another appointed judge. A judge whom you will vote not to retain having done no investigation. Sounds like a really good plan.

The Plebiscite survey seems to be a solid source. Here are a few more good resources for those of you who would like to make educated decisions next time around. http://www.ajs.org/js/IA.htm http://www.judicial.state.ia.us/

Be number 8:

knows half of 8 is