DES MOINES, Iowa – While Brenna Bird will not officially be sworn in as Iowa’s next Attorney General until January 5, she took steps to fulfill several campaign promises on her first day in office on Wednesday: joining lawsuits challenging the Biden administration and the effort to defend Iowa’s fetal heartbeat abortion ban, initiating the process to hire new prosecutors, and launching a full audit of victim services.
“Iowans elected me to get the job done, and that’s what I am going to do,” Bird said. “It’s exciting to get started right away, and we have already begun to implement important changes that will benefit Iowans.”
The federal lawsuits include Nebraska v. Biden in the United States Supreme Court—challenging the Biden Administration’s 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.
Iowa was already part of several of the lawsuits by request of Governor Kim Reynolds, but former Attorney General Tom Miller declined to represent the state in most of the lawsuits.
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.”
Bird and her legal team also appeared to represent Reynolds and the State in their appeal to the Iowa Supreme Court seeking to dissolve the injunction of the Fetal Heartbeat Bill. Miller 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,” Bird stated. “I’m glad to go to court to defend Iowa’s statutes, especially those protecting innocent unborn babies.”
Bird also instituted a full audit of the victim services section of the office. Over the coming weeks, she will meet 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.
She continues 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. 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 said.
Postings for these positions may be found on the Iowa Attorney General Office’s website here.