Judicial Selection

In Alaska, Judges are selected based on their professional qualifications, not political campaigns. Here’s how potential judges are evaluated:

  1. Written Application. Applicants submits 28 page written application and references to the Alaska Judicial Council (AJC), a nonpartisan group consisting of members of the public, the state Bar, and the Chief Justice
  2. Reference and Background Check. Present and Past employers contacted.
  3. Professional Surveys. The AJC sends a survey to thousands of Alaskans who interact with judges, including police and probation officers, court employees, jurors, social workers, and child advocates, and every attorney in the state, asking them to rate the applicant based on the following criteria:
    1. Professional competence
    2. Integrity
    3. Judicial temperament
    4. Fairness
    5. Experience
    6. Overall professional qualifications
  4. Public Comments. Public testimony is collected via writing, website submission, and public hearings.
  5. Interview. The applicant is interviewed to interrogate the findings of surveys and public comments.
  6. Nomination. The AJC nominates a select number of the most highly qualified applicants for consideration by the Governor
  7. Selection by the Governor. The Governor appoints a judge chosen from the top applicants
  8. Public Retention Vote. After serving a few years as a judge, the public votes on whether the judge can keep serving Alaska.

For more information on Public Retention Vote, check out this 2-minute video:

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