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Iowa Supreme Court Rules in Candidate Eligibility Case

 
Posted April 15th, 2014 @ 4:20pm

The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled infavor of a Des Moines legislative candidate saying he can continue to be on the ballot despite an OWI conviction.

The candidacy of Tony Bisignano was challenged by Ned Chiodo. Both are running for the state senate in District 17 in Des Moines . Chiodo claimed Bisignano's drunk driving conviction in December made him ineligible to be on the ballot because it was an "infamous crime" and under the constitiution that prohibits a person from being on the ballot.

A three member panel of state officials including the secretary of state and attorney general found in favor of Bisignano. Chido appealed.

But the majority of the high court decided only felonies could be deemed infamous crimes and driving while intoxicated is not one of them. It also said the ruling was specific to second offense druunk driving.

Justice David Wiggins issued a strongly worded dissent saying the majority was rewriting 100 years of case law.

He wrote  that since the legislature determined an infamous crime was anyone that carried a fixed punishment, and an aggravated misdemeanor has a fixed penmishment, then the consgtitutional prohibition should prevail

Wiggins concluded his dissent saying he fears the court is abandoning a seaworthy vessel of precedent to swim in dangerous and uncharted waters.

 Read the entire ruling of the supreme court

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