WATERLOO, Iowa --- A Waterloo judge has been named to the Iowa Supreme Court.

Gov. Terry Branstad appointed District Court Judge Bruce Zager to fill one of three vacancies on the high court Wednesday.

Also named to the Supreme Court were Iowa Court of Appeals Judge Edward Mansfield of Des Moines and Thomas Waterman of Pleasant Valley, who is a private practice attorney.

The three were chosen to fill the openings created when former Chief Justice Marsha Ternus and associate justices Michael Streit and David Baker were defeated in retention votes last November.

"It is the role of the judiciary in the state of Iowa to say what the law is, as applied to cases before the courts, rather than saying what the law should be," Brandstad said in a prepared statement as he announced his choices. "The separation of powers is central to our Iowa Constitution."

The governor said Zager brings both private practice experience and district court knowledge to the Supreme Court.

Zager, a married father of three, earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Iowa in 1975 and obtained his law degree from Drake University Law School in 1980. He spent 18 years in private practice and served part time as a Black Hawk Assistant County Attorney for 12 years.

He was appointed to the district court bench in August 1999.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady said he is pleased with the appointments.

"The three appointees possess the qualities essential for judicial office: integrity, keen intellect, solid legal experience, and most important, respect for fair and impartial justice-the hallmark of Iowa's court system," Cady said. "We look forward to working with the new justices and we welcome them to the court.

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