JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy asked the council that screens and nominates judicial applicants Thursday for a new slate of candidates for a state Supreme Court vacancy. He questioned why a judge, who was pushed by his recent council appointee, wasn't among the finalists.
Superior Court judges Dani Crosby, Jennifer Stuart Henderson and Yvonne Lamoureux were the finalists advanced by the Alaska Judicial Council. In a release dated May 25, the council said Dunleavy had 45 days to choose from among them.
Under its bylaws, the council “will not reconsider” names submitted to the governor after nominees are submitted “unless the disability, death, withdrawal or unavailability due to appointment to another position of one or more” of them leaves the governor with less than two names.
Dunleavy questioned why Kotzebue Superior Court Judge Paul Roetman wasn't picked. He cited Roetman's time as a judge and experience in rural Alaska.
Kristie Babcock, a Dunleavy appointee to the council, in an opinion piece said then-Supreme Court Chief Justice Joel Bolger killed Roetman's nomination as a tie-breaking vote on the matter.
She complained about a selection process the council says is merit-based.
Dunleavy's failure to timely appoint a judge earlier in his term was one of the issues cited in an ongoing recall effort.
Becky Bohrer, The Associated Press