Sept. 27, 2010
Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Marsha Ternus will present a lecture at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 27, in the Yockey Family Community Room, located in Morningside College’s Olsen Student Center, 3609 Peters Ave.
Chief Justice Ternus’ lecture, which is titled “Courts and the Constitution,” will address the constitutional role of the Iowa courts and the critical importance of a fair and impartial judiciary in fulfilling that role. The lecture is sponsored by the Morningside College Civic Union and is open to the public.
Chief Justice Ternus is the first woman to serve as chief justice of Iowa’s highest court. She was appointed to the Iowa Supreme Court in 1993 by Gov. Terry Branstad. Members of the court selected her as chief justice in 2006.
A native of Iowa, Chief Justice Ternus grew up on a farm in northern Benton County. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa and her law degree from Drake University Law School. Before joining the supreme court, Chief Justice Ternus worked in the private practice of law in the Des Moines law firm of Bradshaw, Fowler, Proctor and Fairgrave.
In 2009, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts appointed Chief Justice Ternus to the Judicial Conference Committee on Federal-State Jurisdiction. She is one of only four state supreme court justices serving on the committee. Chief Justice Ternus also serves on the board of directors for the Conference of Chief Justices and is a member of the conference’s Courts, Children and Families Committee. She also chairs the conference’s Court Management Committee and its Resolutions Committee.
President Barack Obama recently nominated Chief Justice Ternus as a board member of the State Justice Institute, a federally funded non-profit corporation based in suburban Washington, D.C., that awards grants to the nation’s state courts.
In addition to her judicial duties, Chief Justice Ternus has worked on a number of court initiatives and efforts to improve the administration of justice and to improve court oversight of child welfare cases.