- Associated Press - Friday, February 21, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court said Friday it will review a legal battle over whether Gov. Terry Branstad had the power to close the troubled Iowa Juvenile Home.

The court issued an order saying that it would hear an appeal from Branstad, who petitioned the court about two weeks ago.

Branstad closed the home in January following allegations that teens were improperly treated and denied a proper education. Four lawmakers then sued the Republican governor to keep the home open. A district court judge has ordered the state to reopen the home and use funds the Legislature approved to operate it.

No hearing date has been set. The order from the Supreme Court puts the lower court ruling on hold.

“I am encouraged the Iowa Supreme Court has agreed to hear our appeal regarding the Iowa Juvenile Home,” Branstad said in a statement. “Since learning about the situation at the Juvenile Home, my utmost concern has been the health, safety and education of the children.”

One of the lawmakers who filed suit, Sen. Jack Hatch, D-Des Moines, said in a statement that he was sure the lawmakers would win out.

“I am confident the Iowa Supreme Court will do the right thing and tell this Governor he’s acting above the law again,” said Hatch, who is running for governor.

The 21 girls who had been living at the home now live elsewhere.

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