The Iowa Judicial Branch is composed of various District Iowa courts, as well as a State Supreme Court. Moreover, Iowa courts could also be considered to include the various Federal institutions also located in the area, including both the Northern and Southern District United States Courts.
However, it should be noted that these do not come under the administrative and legal heading of the governmental Iowa judicial branch devoted to the State as a whole.
The District Court section of the overall Iowa judicial branch is comprised of eight different districts. In addition, another component of the Iowa Judicial branch which might also be relevant to the legal issues which arises for a resident of the State is that of the Iowa Court of Appeals, which is placed at the legal appellate level.
The Iowa Supreme Court is the main authority over State Iowa courts and the Iowa judicial branch as a whole. Members of this component of the Iowa Judicial Branch, including the justices, are nominated by the State Judicial Nominating Commission and are either approved or rejected by the Iowa State Governor.
If these highest members of the Iowa courts are approved, a year following their initial appointment, at the point of the retention election, they are given the ability to remain in the office for an overall period lasting for up to eight years or until they reach the age of 72. As of 2010, the Chief Justice of the Iowa Judicial Branch was Chief Justice Marsha K. Ternus.