The retention of judges, often overlooked on our ballots, may be our most important voting right. Judges may play an extremely important role in all of our lives eventually. Assuring quality judges is the responsibility of every voter.
Judge Monica Wittig (aka Monica Ackley, Monica Zrinyi Wittig) received some of the lowest accumulative scores of all judges in the 12 areas included in the Iowa Bar Association’s Judicial Performance Review (www.iowabar.org/page/JudicialEvaluations?). Shockingly, only 54 percent of the Bar members responding recommended she be retained. The Iowa Bar Association is partially comprised of her friends and associates and barely half of those responding thought she should be retained. Flawed as this review may be (only Bar Association. members may contribute) it is the only practical tool most voters have to evaluate judges.
Wittig's recommend-for-retention score represents the lowest score of any of the 67 judges included on the ballot this year. Only one other judge scored in the 50s while the vast majority scored in the 80s and 90s.
Her low scores match my personal experience. Prior to my recent retirement, I worked with her for many years. She consistently demonstrated severe deficiencies in demeanor, fairness, knowledge, order clarity, and integrity. I urge voters to conduct their own research and exercise their right to vote on this often ignored part of our voting process. A "no" vote to retain Judge Monica Wittig will be a big step forward to make a much-needed improvement in the quality of our judicial officers.