Iowa Supreme Court Overturns Its Own Ruling on Lawsuits Against State Officials

(Radio Iowa) The Iowa Supreme Court has reversed a 2017 ruling that allowed lawsuits directly against state officials for monetary damages under the Bill of Rights of the Iowa Constitution.

The unanimous decision came in a case where a garbage truck driver sued the state after being charged with interference with official acts for not helping a D-O-T officer conduct a safety inspection of his truck. The charge was later dropped. The Supreme Court ruling says the ruling six years ago in the case of workers’ compensation commissioner Christopher Godfrey is not supported by constitutional text or history. The ruling also says Godfrey has been difficult to apply because our court has had to spin out new rules of law to accommodate these new types of claims. And Godfrey has undermined the established allocation of responsibility between the legislative and the judicial branches of government.