Supreme Court Chamber

The Supreme Court Chamber was dedicated in 1886. The bench is made of Santo Domingo mahogany, featuring carvings by William Metzger. Metzger carved the original bench, and he also carved the expansion of the bench.

The ceiling of the courtroom was replaced following a fire in 1904. That fire also destroyed most of the ceiling of the House of Representatives chamber, one floor above.

The Supreme Court has general appellate jurisdiction in both civil and criminal cases. The Court has authority to supervise the trial court, to prescribe the procedure in matters brought before it and provides the rules for admission of attorneys to the practice of law. It also has the power to prescribe rules of civil, criminal, and appellate procedure. Any rules prescribed by the Court and reported to the Legislature become effective unless changed by the Legislature.

The Court will hear approximately 220 oral arguments within the course of a year. Annually, the Iowa Supreme Court issues approximately 350 rulings on cases. This chamber, which is no longer used for court cases, is now utilized as a committee room for the House of Representatives. All court business is now conducted in the new Judicial Branch Building on the Capitol Complex.