Governor, attorney general make request to Iowa Supreme Court
Gov. Terry Branstad is seeking to keep the Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo closed by asking the Iowa Supreme Court to overturn a district judge’s decision to reopen the facility.
Branstad closed the facility for at-risk young girls on Jan. 15. A group of Democratic lawmakers and a labor leader took Branstad to court on the matter and won a decision to reopen IJH by Judge Scott Rosenberg on Wednesday.
Included as plaintiffs in lawsuit against the governor were local legislators Steve Sodders, D-State Center, and Rep. Mark Smith, D-Marshalltown.
“My utmost concern is protecting the health, safety and education of the children who resided at the Iowa Juvenile Home,” Branstad said in a statement. “The children were subjected to over 47,000 hours of isolation, denied the education they deserve and mistreated by staff.”
The governor is being represented by Attorney General Tom Miller, who filed the request of an Application for Appeal in Advance of Final Judgment with the Iowa Supreme Court.
“The district court’s extraordinary and unprecedented order demands this court’s immediate review.” reads a portion of the request.
Smith said he is not surprised by the appeal, but he would have liked to move forward in getting IJH ready.
“I would rather that we sat down and worked out the issues now instead of having this tied up more in the courts,” Smith said.
Sodders said the governor has chosen his ego over doing what is right for kids.
“The ruling speaks for itself, he violated the law (closing IJH),” Sodders said. “We were hoping he wouldn’t appeal and sit down and work with us. It’s time we get a good state facility for these girls.”