GOP ‘tough on crime’ messaging misses the point of voting restoration

BY: - March 16, 2020

“If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.” Republicans in the Iowa Statehouse have been channeling Robert Blake of the 1970s TV cop show, “Baretta,” every time a Democrat raises concerns about the inequities in their approach to voting-rights restoration for people who have served their sentences for felony charges. “Behind every felony, […]

nterior of an empty courtroom with gavel and sounding block on the desk.

Iowa Judicial Branch sets rules for coronavirus response

BY: - March 12, 2020

Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Susan Christensen has issued an order governing how the courts will operate amid concerns about the spread of COVID-19, the coronavirus that’s currently spreading in the United States and in many countries around the world. “Preparation is key to minimizing coronavirus/COVID-19 impact on the services the judicial branch provides Iowans,” […]

Coronavirus in Iowa: News roundup

BY: - March 11, 2020

Governor’s office reports 14th Iowa coronavirus case Gov. Kim Reynolds’ office on Wedneday reported a 14th case of coronavirus in the state, just one more than was reported on Tuesday. An additional 21 tests were negative. The newest case is an adult between 61 and 80 years old from Johnson County, who was part of […]

Which felons get to vote? Republicans and Democrats argue exemptions

BY: - March 9, 2020

To ultimately pass a constitutional amendment granting felons the automatic right to vote, Republican legislators argue lawmakers must first pass a bill that continues to exempt some felons from voting restoration. But it’s a measure that will continue to unequally disenfranchise felons who have served their time, Democrats and religious organizations argued during a House […]

Three finalists named for Iowa Supreme Court vacancy

BY: - March 6, 2020

The State Judicial Nominating Commission on Friday narrowed the pool of Iowa Supreme Court justice applicants down to three and now it’s up to Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds to make the final decision on who will take a seat on the state’s highest court. The commission, which is made up of lawyers and Reynolds’ appointees, […]

Does Iowa Senate’s animal abuse bill go far enough?

BY: - March 6, 2020

Activists fought for even tougher legislation against animal cruelty than the Iowa Senate passed this week, but they’re still celebrating the chamber’s approval of stricter penalties. The Animal Rescue League of Iowa, a Des Moines-based non-profit organization, has worked for years to pass more severe charges against people who abuse “companion animals” like dogs and […]

Iowans who abuse animals face stricter penalties under Senate bill

BY: - March 4, 2020

Iowa senators passed a bill imposing stronger penalties against people who commit violence or neglect against animals — a measure animal rights advocates have been pushing for years as Iowa continuously ranks in the bottom nationally for animal protections. Under current Iowa law, the strictest penalty first-time offenders who abuse or neglect animals face are […]

Liberal Supreme Court justices challenge abortion restrictions in high-stakes case

BY: - March 4, 2020

WASHINGTON — The liberal wing of the U.S. Supreme Court appeared highly skeptical of a Louisiana law that restricts abortion access as the justices heard oral arguments Wednesday in a high-stakes case that could open the door for additional abortion limitations around the country. But the court’s conservative majority — which is likely to determine […]

Iowa House passes increased fines for texting in a school zone

BY: - March 3, 2020

People who are caught texting and driving in a school zone will face an increased penalty, under a bill moving forward in the Iowa House. Current Iowa law states violators will be fined $30 if they write, send or view a text while driving within 200 feet of a school. House File 2491 proposes doubling […]

Major abortion case heads to U.S. Supreme Court this week

BY: - March 2, 2020

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Wednesday in a high-profile abortion case that’s rooted in Louisiana but could have major implications in states around the country. The case, June Medical Services LLC v. Russo, centers on a Louisiana law that requires any physicians who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a […]

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds praises Trump, Pence for ‘pro-life’ stances

BY: - March 2, 2020

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds praised President Donald Trump Monday for taking “bold steps” in the pro-life movement. During an anti-abortion rally at the State Capitol, Reynolds noted Trump is the first president in history to attend the March for Life Rally, which was in January in Washington, D.C. “Today we are so fortunate to have […]

U.S. House approves landmark bill making lynching a federal hate crime

BY: - February 27, 2020

WASHINGTON — Lynching is not considered a hate crime under federal law, but that’s expected to change soon. The U.S. House voted 410-4 on Wednesday to approve a bill called the Emmett Till Antilynching Act. The bill would specifically list lynching as a hate crime, which is identified as a crime that targets people based on their race […]