DES MOINES — Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird took immediate action today on her first day in office by joining lawsuits, making moves to hire new prosecutors, and launching a full audit of victim services. These actions have been taken ahead of her official swearing in on Thursday, January 5, 2023.
“Iowans elected me to get the job done, and that’s what I am going to do,” said Bird. “It’s exciting to get started right away, and we have already begun to implement important changes that will benefit Iowans.”
Attorney General Bird signed onto several lawsuits pushing back against overreach by the Biden administration. These include Nebraska v. Biden in the United States Supreme Court—challenging the Biden Administration’s unauthorized mass cancellation of federal student loan debt—three challenges to vaccine mandates across the nation, and the challenges to the tax cut ban in the American Rescue Plan Act.
At the request of Governor Kim Reynolds, the State was already a party to these suits, but her predecessor refused to represent the State in nearly all the cases. Bird wrote to her fellow attorneys general asking to be included “as a signatory on any further briefs or other filings—proudly representing the State of Iowa as its Attorney General.”
Attorney General Bird and her legal team also appeared to represent Governor Reynolds and the State in their appeal to the Iowa Supreme Court seeking to dissolve the injunction of the Fetal Heartbeat Bill. Bird’s predecessor also refused to defend this statute or participate in the State’s effort to dissolve the injunction after the Iowa Supreme Court’s decision in June that the Iowa Constitution does not contain a fundamental right to an abortion.
“The federal government is encroaching on our freedoms, and we will do whatever is necessary to support Iowans and defend our freedoms,” said Bird. “I’m glad to go to court to defend Iowa’s statutes, especially those protecting innocent unborn babies.”
Attorney General Bird is also instituting a top down and bottom up audit of the victim services section of the office. Over the coming weeks, she will be meeting with victims, advocates, prosecutors, law enforcement, and other stakeholders to inform the effort. It will be led by her newly hired Assistant Attorney General for Victim Services, John Gish.
Recruiting “All-Star” Prosecutors
Attorney General Bird is continuing to build a talented legal team committed to upholding the rule of law and protecting Iowans. As part of that mission, she will hire at least two new experienced prosecutors to serve in the Statewide Prosecutions Section (formerly known as the Areas Prosecutions Division).
"We need more prosecutors,” said Bird. “The Iowa Attorney General is the top law enforcement official in the state. Our office needs a talented team of the best prosecutors in the state to protect victims and bring criminals to justice,” Bird concluded.
Postings for these positions may be found on the Iowa Attorney General Office's website here.
Brenna Bird will be formally sworn-in as Iowa Attorney General at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 5, in the rotunda of the Iowa State Capitol. The ceremony is open to the public.
For More Information:
Sam Langholz, Chief Deputy Attorney General