Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller says Kim Reynolds can indeed take over as Governor when Terry Branstad resigns to become U.S. Ambassador to China, but she does not have legal authority to appoint a new lieutenant governor.
Miller issued a formal legal opinion Monday on a challenge requested by State Senator David Johnson, who is an independent from Ocheyedan.
Miller’s 23-page opinion concludes that the Iowa Constitution provides for the Lt. Governor to take over when the sitting governor resigns:
OC…styled governor. :13
But Miller says Reynolds would not have the authority to appoint a new Lt. Governor when she becomes governor herself.
Miller’s opinion notes that in all four previous instances when an Iowa governor resigned or died while in office, the lieutenant governor was always considered governor, but never appointed or named a new lieutenant governor.
The attorney general says he supports Reynolds picking a Lt. Governor, but the law does not:
OC…………a constitutional amendment. ;24
Miller says he hopes Reynolds won’t challenge the opinion, but he also won’t challenge her or defend her if she does appoint a Lt. Governor.