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 […]

State auditor proposes bill to jail public employees who embezzle

BY: - February 27, 2020

A bill pushed by Iowa State Auditor Rob Sand, a former prosecutor, would require jail terms for most public employees convicted of taking large amounts of money from taxpayers. Sand said he wants to stop public employees — including, for example, state lawmakers and people working for schools, cities and counties — from treating their […]

Christensen named chief justice of Iowa Supreme Court

BY: - February 24, 2020

Iowa Supreme Court Justice Susan Christensen has been named chief justice of the state’s highest court, making her the second woman ever to serve in the position. Christensen succeeds former Chief Justice Mark Cady, who passed away Nov. 15, 2019, after a heart attack. Justice David Wiggins has been serving as acting chief justice and […]

Alive or dead?  An update on Iowa legislation after the first funnel

BY: - February 22, 2020

This week marked a key committee deadline in the Iowa Legislature known as the “funnel.” Most policy bills needed approval by a committee in either the House or Senate to remain eligible for debate this year. This so-called “funnel” deadline helps lawmakers prioritize their work by eliminating from consideration lower-priority proposals or those that lack […]

Judge: Lawyer ‘made up’ testimony and undermined landmark pollution case

BY: - February 20, 2020

Two of Iowa’s most well-known attorneys are embroiled in a bitter fight over legal fees and client poaching in a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against one of Iowa’s biggest alleged corporate polluters. The case involves allegations of attorney misconduct in the $51 million class-action lawsuit against Muscatine’s Grain Processing Corp. On one side of the dispute is […]

Conversion therapy is happening underground in Iowa, LGBT advocates say. Some lawmakers are trying to stop it.

BY: - February 19, 2020

When Peter Nunn was 14 years old, his parents found a men’s workout magazine he owned and came to their own conclusions about his sexual orientation. His father decided to take him on a trip away from their home near Atlanta, but declined to tell him where they were going until their layover in St. […]

Ombudsman: Natalie Finn’s death followed ‘a tragedy of errors’ by state agency

BY: - February 17, 2020

The death of teenager Natalie Finn followed a series of errors and missed opportunities within Iowa’s child-protection system, according to the state Office of Ombudsman. The office on Monday released a long-awaited, 160-page report detailing its investigation into the manner in which the Iowa Department of Human Services handled child-abuse reports pertaining to 16-year-old Natalie […]

Iowa employers, religious leaders clash over religious freedom bill

BY: - February 13, 2020

Representatives of some of Iowa’s major employers squared off against religious conservative advocates for the third straight year over legislation to replicate federal religious freedom language in Iowa law. The federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act sets a higher court standard for consideration of cases in which government is alleged to burden a person’s exercise of […]

Iowa lawmakers work to salvage medical cannabis program update

BY: - February 11, 2020

State lawmakers on Tuesday began the work of trying to salvage an update to Iowa’s medical cannabidiol program after a veto last year from Gov. Kim Reynolds. The fighting issue in House Study Bill 653, and the one that led to the governor’s veto, was the cap on THC. That’s the psychoactive compound in cannabis […]

Bill would restrict restoration of voting rights if voters amend the state constitution

BY: - February 10, 2020

GOP state senators advanced a bill Monday that would restrict restoration of voting rights for Iowans who have committed certain serious crimes and who still owe restitution to their victims. Senate File 2129 was designed to take effect only if Iowa voters approve a constitutional amendment that Gov. Kim Reynolds has requested for automatic restoration […]