The powerful seven-member Alaska Judicial Council, which wields absolute control when determining who is deemed sufficiently qualified to serve as an Alaska judge, will hold a public hearing to give rank-and-file Alaskans a chance to weigh in who should be the next Alaska Supreme Court justice.

Seven attorneys and judges have applied to fill the vacancy on the high court, which will occur due to the forthcoming retirement of Chief Justice Daniel Winfree.

After hearing from Alaskans on Dec. 5, the council will hold private interviews with each candidate. It must then give Gov. Mike Dunleavy at least two candidates to select from. Alaska’s Constitution, gives the Judicial Council exclusive power to determine the list from which the governor can choose a replacement. He cannot select anyone outside of those recommendations.

The unelected Judicial Council includes three members appointed by the governor and approved by the Legislature, three members appointed by the Alaska Bar Association, and the chief justice of the Alaska Supreme Court – also a member of the Bar.

Conservatives have long complained that it’s nearly impossible to seat a constitutionalist judge because the left-leaning Bar Association always enjoys a 4-3 majority on the Judicial Council.

Alaskans can weigh in on the seven applicants (see list below) on Dec. 5, 12:30 p.m., at the Boney Courthouse, Supreme Court Courtroom (303 K Street, Anchorage). Testimony can also be provided by calling 1-833-928-4610 (meeting ID: 844 6481 1777).


— Dani Crosby

— Paul A. Roetman

— Kate Demarest

— Aimee A. Oravec

— Jude Pate

— Margaret Paton Walsh

— Holly C. Wells

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Alaskans can offer opinions on 7 Supreme Court justice applicants

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.


  • Jon and Ruth Ewig says:

    We oppose any justice that will not honor our Original Constitution and be pro-America. If the slate has anyone that fits these requirements, then we will trust them. We admire Clarrence Thomas as a model even though this is for Alaska Justices.

  • Keith Rominske says:

    Without a constitutional convention there is no way out of this stranglehold the bar association has on appointing a constitutional judge. They got exactly what they wanted.

  • Neil DeWitt says:

    From what you wrote here, isn’t it a waste of our time? We have no input. Yes we can go and say what we want but I’d bet if I could that they have already picked the people for the governor to get to choose from. They’re only doing this for our benefit so they can say we gave the people a chance to select. It’s all garbage. Someone PLEASE tell me I’m incorrect. Anyone? Nope, nobody can. I knew I was correct.

  • FormerMilitary Woman says:

    They already know who they are going to pick, their favorite far leftist of the bunch. This is a waste, they have NOT been listening to WE THE PEOPLE, don’t expect it now. Did you see what the fools in the state legislature just did? Put a fork in it, Alaska is done, its bright blue with a rainbow flag in the middle.
    You non lefty idiots that chose not to vote, not to call the elections office and ask for a ballot, and were just plain lazy, got what YOU deserved.
    I dont deserve this, im still fighting for our state and our country.

    • Friend of Humanity says:

      Yeah, the voter turnout was less than ideal for sure. I think I heard that it was in the 30% range. I thought that this election was important enough to hit, at least, the 70% range; but, I guess it must have been too cold of a day for people to get out and vote or something. I agree about still fighting for our state and country! Thank you for your service and your dedication!

  • Luzell Russell says:

    The list of justices is nice to have – how about background info on each – this may help to show why the closed door group has chosen the 3 they want.