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State of Alaska

Judicial Selection in the States: Alaska

Overview

News

The Montana House State Administration Committee yesterday approved a bill to require judges recuse from cases due to campaign contributions. Under HB 157 as approved...

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A plan to require Wyoming judicial nominating commission members to be subject to senate confirmation appears to have died. Wyoming s top courts use a...

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This is proving to be an unprecedented year in terms of the number of efforts to either switch from partisan to nonpartisan judicial elections or...

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Courtesy of the Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of...

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The Alaska judiciary is composed of two appellate courts--the supreme court and the court of appeals, and two trial courts--the superior court and the district court. Alaska is one of only two states that has used a merit selection system since gaining statehood to choose its judges. According to minutes from Alaska's constitutional convention, delegates wanted a system that focused on objective qualifications and minimized the influence of politics on judicial selection. Alaska was also the first state to establish an official judicial performance evaluation program to provide information to voters in retention elections. In 2008, the Alaska Judicial Council released a report on the Council's role on the state's judicial selection and evaluation process, Selecting and Evaluating Alaska's Judges, 1984-2007.