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Gov. Reynolds appoints David May to Iowa Supreme Court

David May, who was appointed to the Iowa Court of Appeals in 2019, replaces Justice Brent Appel who retired earlier this month.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Gov. Kim Reynolds has made David May her fifth appointment to the Iowa Supreme Court.

Reynolds appointed May to the Iowa Court of Appeals in 2019.

"Good justices understand that the role of the courts is to interpret and apply the law not to create or rewrite it. Above all, their loyalty is to the law as it is not as they want it to be," Reynolds said Wednesday.

The State Judicial Nominating Commission narrowed a list of five candidates down to three in late June. Justice Brent Appel left the court earlier this month after he reached the mandatory retirement age of 72.

"I am very excited about beginning my work on the Iowa Supreme Court," May said. "I know the work will involve new challenges, certainly a different kind of case mix. But whether you're at the district court or the court of appeals, or the Supreme Court, the basic principles of judging remains the same."

The Iowa Supreme Court recently reversed a 2018 decision that guaranteed the right to abortion under the Iowa Constitution, clearing the way for lawmakers to severely limit or even ban abortion in the state.

A lawsuit over the state's 24-hour waiting period for abortions has been sent back to district court following the high court's reversal, meaning the law is now in effect.

The finalists to replace Appel were: 

  • William Miller, Attorney, Dorsey & Whitney LLP, Des Moines
  • Alan Heavens, District Court Judge, First Judicial District, Garnavillo
  • David May, Judge, Iowa Court of Appeals, Polk City

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