Saturday, April 18, 2009

Palin To Pick Another Supreme Court Justice. Please Tell Me the W.A.R. Is Over!

Alaska Supreme Justice Robert Eastaugh has announced that on November 2nd of this year, he will retire from the Alaska Supreme Court.

Supreme Court Justices are appointed for life until a mandatory retirement age of 70 (see correction below). This means Sarah Palin will appoint another person who potentially will affect Alaska's direction for years to come.

Now, to her credit, the Governor didn't do badly on her last pick. She bucked the Alaska Family Council, part of her Conservative base, and picked Superior Court Judge Morgan Christen to fill the seat.

According to the Alaska Constitution, the Governor must select from among the nominees sent to her by the seven-member Alaska Judicial Council., comprised of three lawyers, three members of the public appointed by the Governor, and the Supreme Court chief justice.

One of the things weighed by the Council is a survey of Alaska Bar members.

In the ADN article, Palin "criticized the fact the anonymous comments are allowed" on the bar survey, and said "too much weight is given to the survey."

Based on their history with him, I seriously doubt that the Alaska Judicial Council would recommend Wayne Anthony Ross, were he to apply.

However, given the Governor's propensity to ignore the law whenever convenient, as demonstrated by the Juneau Senate seat fiasco, we cannot assume anything.

: I received an email from a retired Alaska government attorney who set me straight on this. Just goes to show what happens when I make assumptions without checking the statute first. I'll try to be more thorough in the future.


Anonymous said...

Shall we place odds on her following the law?

Maeve said...

Remember, she also has to appoint a new Attorney General; and this one will serve as an interim appointment until approved, rejected or tabled in the next regular session of the Legislature - in the Fall of 2009...

Wolfe Tone said...

Yes, Maeve. I'm aware of that... I was just trying really hard to shove it to the back of my mind.
Perhaps she'll let Rick Svobodny keep on handling the chore until her term ends?
Nah. We won't get that lucky.

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