Iowa Supreme Court Justice Brent Appel will retire from the Court effective June 13 after serving on the Court for 16 years. Appel, who turns 72 this year, reached the mandatory retirement age prescribed by Iowa Code Chapter 602.
The Court will hold a retirement ceremony for Justice Appel at 3 p.m. Thursday, June 2, in the Supreme Court courtroom on the fourth floor of the Judicial Branch Building.
Appel was appointed to the Iowa Supreme Court in 2006 by Gov. Tom Vilsack. Prior to joining the Court Appel worked in private practice in Des Moines. Before that, Appel served in the Iowa Attorney General’s office, where he was First Assistant Attorney General and later Deputy Attorney General.
Appel’s successor will be named by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds from a list of three candidates selected by the 17-member State Judicial Nominating Commission from among applicants. The Commission has announced that applications must be received by 11:59 p.m., Friday, June 17. Applications will be posted on the Judicial Branch website. Interviews are scheduled for June 27 and 28, which are open to the public and will be livestreamed on the internet. The Commission will vote on a slate of candidates immediately following the interviews.
The procedures for appointing judges to the Iowa Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals are outlined in the Iowa Constitution (Article V as amended in 1962) and Iowa Code Chapter 46. The State Judicial Nominating Commission is composed of nine members appointed by the governor and eight members elected from among resident members of the Iowa bar.
The person appointed to replace Appel will initially serve for one year and until the next judicial election, when he or she will stand for retention. If retained by the voters, the justice will be eligible to serve a full eight-year term.
Appel was born in Dubuque in 1950, graduated from Dubuque Senior High School, and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Stanford University in California. He earned a law degree at the University of California, Berkeley, and served a one-year clerkship on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Appel and his wife, Staci, have five sons and one daughter.