Waterloo native named as Iowa Supreme Court Judge - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Waterloo native named as Iowa Supreme Court Judge


WATERLOO (KWWL) -- Governor Terry Branstad named his choices for the Iowa Supreme Court Wednesday afternoon. He appointed District Court Judge Bruce Zager, Des Moines Court of Appeals Judge Edward Mansfield, and Thomas Waterman of Pleasant Valley.

Shortly after the news release, Zager juggled call after call in his Waterloo office, congratulating him on one of the highest honors he'll ever receive.

"I haven't quite absorbed it yet," he told KWWL. "I think this is somewhat of a historic event, that we do have someone on the Iowa Supreme Court here in this area. I do feel a real sense of obligation to our community."

His appointment is historic in another way as well. Zager is replacing one of three supreme court members voted out by the public. In November, Iowans chose not to retain justices David Baker, Marsha Ternus, and Michael Streit in the last election. Zager believes the move was a call for transparency.

"It's kind of a healing time, or maybe a transforming time, on the Iowa Supreme Court. My job is not to go and shift things around, and make everything different. It's just to make it so the people understand what we do a little bit better, they understand who we are a little bit better. That we're people, just like everyone else," he said.

The big question, his view on same-sex marriage, never came up in the interview process. Zager believes it's not his place now to make a ruling.

"That's not really the litmus test. I think the real test is, are you going to be someone that follows the constitution. And that's what, as a district court judge, we are sworn to uphold the constitution of Iowa, and the United States, and that's going to be the same oath we take as justices of the Supreme Court," said Zager.

Zager will head to Des Moines next week for orientation. He believes he'll start his new job in March. Zager considers himself a public servant, and said this is the highest form of service he can perform in the judicial branch.

Online Reporter Colleen O'Shaughnessy

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