Former high court justice to lead Harkin institute

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Former Iowa Supreme Court Justice Marsha Ternus has been named the director of a new public policy institute at Drake University named in honor of Sen. Tom Harkin.

University officials said Thursday Ternus begins as head of the Tom Harkin Institute for Public Policy and Citizen Engagement on Aug. 19.

Ternus, a Drake Law School graduate, was appointed to the Iowa Supreme Court in 1993 and served on the court until 2001. She and two other justices failed to win a retention vote after heavy lobbying against them by gay marriage opponents who disagreed with the court’s 2009 ruling legalizing gay marriage in Iowa.

Harkin says Ternus brings a valuable perspective as an Iowa native, the first woman Iowa chief justice, and a fair and compassionate member of the judiciary.

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