Ex-Democratic candidate Appel joins Iowa's top court

Legal News Line Dec. 21, 2006, 9:27am

New Iowa Supreme Court Justice Brent Appel

DES MOINES - Dubuque native Brent Appel was sworn in earlier this week as the newest member of the Iowa Supreme Court. He fills a vacancy created by the retirement of Justice James Carter of Cedar Rapids. Prior to his appointment, Appel worked as a private attorney for nearly 20 years and before that served as Iowa's first assistant and deputy attorney general. During that period he delivered oral arguments in four cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. Appel earned bachelor and master of arts degrees in history from Stanford University, and received his law degree from the University of California at Berkley. He also once launched an unsuccessful bid for the Iowa legislature as a Democratic candidate. "One of the things we've learned in the 20th century that we ought not forget is that merely having a written constitution and a set of laws that are great is not enough," Appel said at his inauguration. "You need to have the active participation of an informed citizenry. Without it, the constitution is a piece of paper and nothing more."

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