UPDATES & ANALYSIS

4.25

A quick look at what remains on the Iowa Supreme Court’s 2015-2016 docket

by Rox Laird | April 25, 2016

The Iowa Supreme Court is headed toward the home stretch of its current term, with 71 decisions on the books and 29 yet to be decided.

Among the questions yet to be decided is defining what the Iowa Constitution means by “infamous crimes” that deny voting rights to convicted criminals. (Griffin v. Pate; see “Griffin v. Pate: Does the meaning of ‘infamous crime’ come down to what Justice Appel thinks?” for background).

The outcome of a medical malpractice lawsuit against a Des Moines pain doctor no doubt will generate news (Estate of Gray v. Baldi; see “Iowa Supreme Court to hold evening argument in case involving the death of a rock star and the constitutional rights of the unborn”).

And the court also has yet to rule on the question of whether you in effect quit your job if you spend nearly a month in jail on charges that are later dismissed (see “Iowa Supreme Court takes up unemployment case involving jailed employee”).

The court heard its final oral argument for its 2015-16 term in Clinton on April 14, and the justices are now devoting their energies to writing the remaining opinions. Decisions are expected in those cases by the end of June, and the court will then move to an administrative break when it considers rules changes and other judicial administration matters.

Among the oldest cases still to be decided are four argued last September, with the bulk of undecided cases argued in March and April.

In addition to the voting rights, unemployment and Baldi cases,  there is always the possibility that any one of the rulings expected in the coming weeks will contain surprises. Stay tuned.

[UPDATE: This post was amended to correct the number of outstanding decisions.]

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