ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – A bill would turn Alaska’s longstanding judge selection system on its head by allowing the governor to make direct appointments at two levels of state justice.
Republican Senator Mike Shower’s bill is part of Conservative efforts to reshape the state’s electoral system, the Anchorage Daily News reported on Wednesday.
Under the Alaska system, the governor must appoint judges from a list of qualified candidates submitted by the Alaska Judicial Council, which consists of three community members and three attorneys selected by the Alaska Bar Association. The Chief Justice of the Alaska Supreme Court has a tie.
Voters incriminate the judges every few years with deductible elections.
The proposed law would change the way judges are selected only for the district court system, which mostly deals with offenses, and for the appeals court, which handles criminal cases.
The move would not change choices for the Supreme Court, where most criminal and civil trials take place, and the Alaska Supreme Court. Changes to these courts would require an amendment to the Alaskan Constitution.