Remember to finish your ballot and vote yes for the judges by donna goldsmith
This November Alaskan voters will be asked to vote on the following question on their ballots:“Shall Judge [name] be retained?”Twenty-nine judges are on the ballot. Alaskans for Fair Courts urges voters to Vote YES on all judges this year.
Why are Judges on the ballot? The framers of Alaska’s Constitution wanted Alaska’s courts to be as fair and impartial as possible.Alaska’s judges are appointed by the Governor based on merit. Alaska’s Constitution requires thatjudges who are serving Alaskans go through a comprehensive,professional performance evaluation by the Alaska Judicial Council. The Council is an independent body that has seven members – three are lay people appointed by the Governor and three are attorneys.The Chief Justice of the Alaska Supreme Court chairs the Council and votes only when there is a tie vote.
How can voters obtain information about the judges who are on their ballots? Voters can find the judges on their ballots by going to akfaircourts.com and looking up the name of their community from the “Judges” menu on the home page. Once a community is typed into the menu, the names of the judges on the ballot in that community will pop up - with links to full evaluation information for each judge on the ballot.
Voters can also go to the Alaska Judicial Council website at ajc.state.ak.usto review the judges’ evaluations. Both websites offer more detailed information about Alaska’s judicial selection, evaluation and retention process. Alaska’s judicial evaluation and retention process is nonpartisan and envied throughout the country. Since Alaska’s statehood in 1958, Alaskans have voted to retain all but six judges who were on the ballot for retention.This voting record reflects the consistent quality of Alaska’s judges and the nonpartisan and impartial nature of the evaluation process over the past six decades.
Alaska’s constitutionally created process for nominating, appointing, evaluating and retaining judges has been recognized on a national level as exceptional. It keeps partisan politics out of the evaluation process while offering voters important facts to be used for evaluating each judge’s professional performance.
The Alaska Judicial Council recommends Vote YES to retain all judges on the ballot. The Alaska Judicial Council unanimously recommended that Alaskans vote YES to retain each of the twenty-nine judges who are on the ballot this year.
Alaskans for Fair Courts urges voters to Vote YES to retain all judges on the ballot. Alaskans for Fair Courts is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that advocates for fair and impartial judges who come under last minute political attack.
Alaskans have good reason to be proud of our judges - and of the process by which we evaluate each judge. The selection and retention process ensures Alaskans that our judges are fair and impartial.Justice should not be for sale –vote YES to retain all judges.
Donna Goldsmith is a retired attorney who is President and Co-Chair of Alaskans for Fair Courts. She was a Special Assistant Attorney General to Attorney General Bruce Botelho, is a past president of the ACLU of Alaska, and trained judges throughout the country.
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