Once again, thanks to the way Alaska seats judges, a conservative leaning Alaska governor will be forced to appoint a liberal justice to the Alaska Supreme Court.

Following a well-established pattern, the small but powerful Alaska Judicial Council has yet again nixed every potentially conservative applicant from the list of names the governor must choose from when filling the upcoming vacancy on the Alaska Supreme Court.

On May 25, the seven-member Judicial Council sent just three approved names from the original seven Alaskans who applied to for the Supreme Court position. Two of the Judicial Council-endorsed applicants have ties to abortion giant Planned Parenthood, and another worked for the left leaning Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund, which supports the Green New Deal, abortion on demand, leftist voting laws and a litany of other so-called progressive causes.

The judicial Council gave no justification for why it chose the three liberal candidates or why the other four names were denied.

The three finalists are all Anchorage Superior Court judges – Jennifer Stuart Henderson, Yvonne Lamoreux and Dani Crosby. In 2020, these same three candidates were forwarded to Gov. Mike Dunleavy when he was last tasked with picking a Supreme Court judge. He rejected all three and chose a fourth nominee, Dario Borghesan, who replaced the retired Justice Craig Stowers.

Now, Dunleavy must choose one of the three liberal women to replace retiring Justice Joel Bolger who retires this summer.

The Judicial Council has exclusive power to select who the governor can choose from among when appointing any and all state judges. It’s nearly impossible to seat a constitutionalist judge because the left-leaning Alaska Bar Association always enjoys a 4-3 majority on the Judicial Council.

The Judicial Council is comprised of three attorneys from the heavily Democratic Alaska Bar Association, three non-attorneys nominated by the governor and approved by the Legislature, and the chief justice of the Alaska Supreme Court – also a member of the Alaska Bar Association.

Dunleavy could ask the Judicial Council to forward more names, but they need not comply.

In many other states voters directly elect judges or the governor has authority to appoint them with legislative approval, the way the president and U.S. Senate operate. To change the way Alaska appoints Supreme Court or Superior Court judges requires amending the State Constitution. Currently, the only say Alaskans have over judges is in deciding whether to keep them during periodic retention elections. Voters can oust judges at the polls.

In announcing its three finalists, the Judicial Council issued a brief statement that contained no justification or reasoning for why it chose the three liberal candidates or why the other four candidates were denied consideration by the governor. It stated only that the three favored names were “the most qualified applicants to fill the Alaska Supreme Court vacancy.” Dunleavy now has 45 days in which to make his appointment from among the limited list.

Dunleavy could ask the Judicial Council to forward more names, but they need not comply.

Below is the list of all seven Alaskans who applied for a spot on the Supreme Court. The names in bold were the only ones the Judicial Council agreed to send to the governor for him to select a new justice.


Roetman is currently a superior court judge in Kotzebue. He is respected by conservative leaders across the state. He recently applied to fill a vacancy on the Alaska Supreme Court, but the Alaska Judicial Council refused to forward his name to the governor for consideration. A man of faith, he has a keen interest in constitutional law and is respected by his fellow judges. In his application for the Supreme Court, he notes that he is the son of Mexican American parents who “exemplified hard work and sacrifice.” Roetman serves on the Alaska Commission on Judicial Conduct.


Patton-Walsh is currently chief assistant attorney general for special litigation in Anchorage. In 2016, as an assistant attorney general for the state, she was assigned to argue the state’s position in favor of a law that requires doctors to notify a pregnant minor’s parents before she can undergo an abortion.

Born and raised in the U.K., she is a naturalized citizen and Harvard Law graduate who worked for then Alaska Attorney General Dan Sullivan. At that time, she argued in favor of Alaska’s current judicial selection process. She clerked for Alaska Supreme Court Justice Alex Bryner, a notoriously liberal judge who authored a 2001 opinion striking down a state law requiring minor girls to get parental consent before undergoing an abortion.


Whipple is currently in private practice with a focus on adoption and personal injury cases. He graduated from Multnomah University in Portland, Oregon with a Bachelor of Arts in Bible Education and earned his law degree from the University of San Diego, School of Law. He is a former board member and long time supporter of the supports the pro-life HeartReach pregnancy center in Wasilla.


Woodman is currently a superior court judge in Palmer. In 2015, as a senior assistant attorney general, he argued on behalf of the state of Alaska when it appealed a judge’s decision that struck down limitations on medically necessary abortion for purposes of Medicaid funding. Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest sued the state over the law.


Henderson is currently a superior court judge in Anchorage. Last year she ruled in favor of the ACLU lawsuit against Governor Mike Dunleavy’s veto of $334,700 from the Alaska Court System after the Alaska Supreme Court ordered the state to pay that amount for publicly funded abortions. She ruled against the state’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit. By doing so, she implied that the court actually has the power to declare that the governor’s line-item veto is unconstitutional, and that the judicial branch of government actually has the power to order a restoration of funds to its own budget, an act which is constitutionally delegated only to the Legislature.

While studying at Yale Law, she was the editor of the liberal Yale Journal of Law & Feminism. Her personal references when applying for the Superior Court included Rep. Lindsey Holmes (former pro-abortion legislator) and James Torgerson (a former Bar member of the Alaska Judicial Council, and the husband of Judge Morgan Christen, the Obama-appointed judge on the 9th Circuit who once served as a Board member for Planned Parenthood of Alaska.


Lamoureux is currently a superior court judge in Anchorage. She is perhaps best known for being the judge who ruled against the Dunleavy Administration’s rejection of the Ballot Measure 2 initiative, which was narrowly approved by voters on Nov. 3. It completely changes the way elections are conducted in Alaska.  This initiative clearly violated the single-subject rule for initiatives, but Lamoureux ruled that it was fine to proceed with a complex ballot measure that would destroy the one-Alaskan, one-vote system that has governed the state since its beginning.

Lamoureux also clerked for 9th Circuit Judge Morgan Christen, an Obama appointee who was formerly on the Alaska Supreme Court and was local counsel for Planned Parenthood. Lamoureux had an internship at Feldman & Orlansky. Jeff Feldman & Susan Orlansky have long represented Planned Parenthood in various lawsuits against the state of Alaska.


Crosby is a superior court judge in Anchorage. She recently struck down a state law which requires that all absentee ballots include the signature of one witness to help verify that the ballot was cast by the proper person. She said the longstanding law didn’t serve any meaningful purpose and should be tossed. She also interned for the left leaning Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund. She was rejected by Gov. Sean Parnell when she applied for the Superior Court but was appointed by Gov. Bill Walker.

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Governor must choose from list of three liberal attorneys to fill Alaska Supreme Court seat

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • Neil A DeWitt says:

    So if forced to choose only liberals how is this fair to the conservatives?

  • Jordan says:

    I want to know who makes up the Alaska Judicial Council so we can vote them out. The AK Judicial Council members obviously do not reflect the will of the people and are using their position to stagnate the state, unless their preferred party is in office.

  • Jordan says:

    AK Judical Council Mission Statement
    To screen and nominate judicial applicants; evaluate the performance of judges and make evaluation information and recommendations available to the voters; and conduct studies and make recommendations to improve the administration of justice.
    -This is deliberate..
    -If they cared about Justice.. they would suggest more than just Liberals!!!

  • BackcountryBoy says:

    What happens if Dunleavy doesn’t do anything and just let’s the 45 days run out?

    • Mike Moore says:

      I was wondering the same thing. If they will not submit more applicants for consideration, then two can play thus game. I don’t like can’t and if it is within our constitution then it’s time to make a change! I wonder how Representative Kurka’s Bill is doing to address these judicial problems?

  • G Aleution says:

    How did it comes to be that you can’t get justice from the DOJ. The BAR association does not issue law licences to practice law. Does the state of AK issue law licenses to practice law? So what is the pertinent history of the BAR Association of the US? How was “the law” practiced before the BAR arrived to conquer from foreign shores? What is their oath? Could it interfere with an oath to DEFEND the US Constitution? If squelching of defences of the US Constitution happened what would it look like, minion? Is that like “do-minion”? Cute.

  • Elizabeth Henry says:

    Can the governor refuse again? This is so wrong and the bar association should not be in control of 1/3 of our state government! They should not be in control of any of it beyond their individual votes at the polls. This needs to change ASAP. And of course no mention in mainstream media so too many citizens are clueless.

  • Proud Alaskan says:

    Don’t pick one of these leftist. Let the time, and days run out.
    The balls in there court to send over a fair choice.

  • Vonda Sanders says:

    Dont pick. We need a fair choice.

  • Ekim Kcidrub says:

    None of the above.

  • Ross Perrine says:

    Many thanks to Joel Davidson for taking the time to research this topic! By doing the Forensics on this Judicial Selection Process, you’ve exposed the Alaska Bar Association as a left leaning and partisan political body, rather then being an independent and politically neutral body serving to protect the integrity of our Judicial System! They appear to be skewed towards implementing their leftist agenda that infringes on the balance of power as delineated in Our Constitution.

  • Steven Chappell says:

    Constitutional Amendment needs to go before the people of Alaska to remove anyone outside of an Elected Official the right to nominate and approve Judges. It is our State and we need a voice in the judicial system in Alaska. Time for the Attorney’s to get out of the way and we the people need a say not unelected individuals.

  • Michael S Totten says:

    I would just refuse to fill the seat

  • NorthernMegaWood says:

    With the changes I think that are coming , who ever are in those seats are going to change their ways or be gone……..

  • hisakgirl says:

    Yeah cause these weren’t handpicked at all 2 Osamabama appointees. and all against Dunleavy. Alaska we need to fight harder to get these Libtards out of power!

  • cora malone says:

    Jennifer henderson is an evil fake sorry excuse for a woman, they wanna pick her because she suvanist and prolly screwing her day to the top!!! she has no problem stealing children from loving mothers. she supports OCS that clearly destroys familes through lies. she’s fake and a racist! she actually smiled when they said they were goin to keep kids forever. that’s evil. she thought an opinion was good enough for evidence- Opinion NOT Fact. they used d race card on me, implying I’m racist towards Blacks- NEWS FLASH my biological mother is Back. and yes i hate when the system uses minorities to hurt other minorities- that’s called being a house servant. dear God please don’t let her take part of that. or is that what god wants for evil to win so people can keep praying for help_ real sick and twisted- religion it’s evil. there is no god if they allow that evil racist pos trash lady more power- she’s a demon.

  • cora malone says:

    if they let jennifer henderson go forth in that position, that is proof that the court system is lead by Satanist.