Constitutional and Statutory Provisions Concerning Judicial Retention/Evaluation

Administrative Rule 23. Appointment of Retired Justices or Judges Pro Tempore - Compensation - Expenses

(a) Appointment Pro Tempore.

(1) The chief justice, or another justice designated by the chief justice, may by special assignment appoint a retired justice of the supreme court or a retired judge of the court of appeals, the superior court, or the district court to sit pro tempore as a senior justice or judge in any court of this state where such assignment is deemed necessary for the efficient administration of justice.

(2) Pro tempore appointments may be made for one or more cases or for a specified period of time up to two years, except that a pro tempore judge or justice may complete a trial or appeal in progress at the conclusion of the appointment. A trial is deemed to be completed and a trial judge's appointment to a particular case terminates upon expiration of the time for filing an appeal. An appeal is deemed to be completed and an appellate judge's appointment to a particular case terminates upon expiration of the time for filing a petition for rehearing or, if a petition for rehearing is filed, upon entry of the order or opinion that disposes of the petition. Appointments may be renewed.

(b) Eligibility.

Any judge who has reached mandatory retirement age or who has otherwise voluntarily retired is eligible for pro tempore appointment, with such judge's consent, subject to the provisions of the Judicial Canons, Part II(1)(C). A judge or justice voluntarily retired for incapacity remains ineligible unless or until a licensed physician finds that he or she is able to efficiently perform judicial duties during such period of incapacity. Any judge rejected on retention or removed from office by the supreme court pursuant to an investigation and recommendation of the Judicial Conduct Commission is ineligible for pro tempore appointment until such time as and if such judge is subsequently nominated and reappointed to the bench.

(c) Judicial Performance Evaluation.

Every two years, the chief justice shall review the performance during the prior two-year period of all retired judges and justices who have served pro tempore. Such review shall be based upon (1) an evaluation of the performance of such justices and judges, to be conducted by the Alaska Judicial Council, which evaluation shall include a survey of the members of the bar in those judicial districts where such justices and judges have served pro tempore during the evaluation period; and (2) formal performance evaluations conducted by the presiding judges under whom such retired justices or judges have served. At the conclusion of such review, the chief justice shall determine the eligibility of such justices and judges to continue to serve pro tempore.

(d) Compensation.

A retired justice or judge is entitled to receive compensation for judicial service pro tempore at the rate of $225 per day. The annual compensation for pro tempore service may not exceed the difference between the retired justice's or judge's annual retirement pay and the current annual base salary of a justice or judge of the court from which the justice or judge retired. The retired justice or judge is also entitled to receive full medical insurance coverage during the same period. The retired justice or judge is not entitled to personal, annual, or sick leave benefits, and acceptance of an appointment pro tempore acts as a waiver of any claim to such benefits. For an appointment of over 90 consecutive days, such leave may be granted at the discretion of the administrative director upon confirmation by the chief justice.

(e) Additional Service Credit.

A retired justice or judge who has not accrued the maximum service credit for retirement benefits under AS 22.25.020 is entitled to receive additional service credit for each day of pro tempore service until the maximum is reached.

Alaska Const. Article IV, Section 6. Approval or Rejection

Each supreme court justice and superior court judge shall, in the manner provided by law, be subject to approval or rejection on a nonpartisan ballot at the first general election held more than three years after his appointment. Thereafter, each supreme court justice shall be subject to approval or rejection in a like manner every tenth year, and each superior court judge, every sixth year.

AS 15.15.030. Preparation of official ballot

The director shall prepare all official ballots to facilitate fairness, simplicity, and clarity in the voting procedure, to reflect most accurately the intent of the voter, and to expedite the administration of elections. The following directives shall be followed when applicable. . . .

(10) A nonpartisan ballot shall be designed for each judicial district in which a justice or judge is seeking retention in office. The ballot shall be divided into four parts and each part must bear a heading indicating the court to which the candidate is seeking approval. Within each part the question of whether the justice or judge shall be approved or rejected shall be set out in substantially the following manner: (A) "Shall ... be retained as justice of the supreme court for 10 years?"; (B) "Shall ... be retained as judge of the court of appeals for eight years?"; (C) "Shall ... be retained as judge of the superior court for six years?"; or (D) "Shall ... be retained as judge of the district court for four years?" Provision shall be made for marking each question "Yes" or "No.". . .

AS 15.15.450. Certification of state ballot counting review

Upon completion of the state ballot counting review the director shall certify the person receiving the largest number of votes for the office for which that person was a candidate as elected to that office and shall certify the approval of a justice or judge not rejected by a majority of the voters voting on the question. The director shall issue to the elected candidates and approved justices and judges, a certificate of their election or approval. The director shall also certify the results of a proposition and other question except that the lieutenant governor shall certify the results of an initiative, referendum or constitutional amendment.

AS 15.35.030. Approval or rejection of supreme court justice

Each supreme court justice shall be subject to approval or rejection at the first general election held more than three years after the justice's appointment. If approved, the justice shall thereafter be subject to approval or rejection in a like manner every tenth year.

AS 15.35.040. Filing declaration by supreme court justice

Each justice seeking retention in office shall file with the director a declaration of candidacy for retention no later than August 1 before the general election at which approval or rejection is requisite.

AS 15.35.053. Approval or rejection of a judge of the court of appeals

Each judge of the court of appeals shall be subject to approval or rejection at the first general election held more than three years after the judge's appointment. If approved, the judge is thereafter subject to approval or rejection in a like manner every eighth year.

AS 15.35.055. Filing declaration by judge of the court of appeals

Each judge of the court of appeals seeking retention in office shall file with the director a declaration of candidacy for retention no later than August 1 before the general election at which approval or rejection is requisite.

AS 15.35.060. Approval or rejection of superior court judge

Each superior court judge shall be subject to approval or rejection at the first general election held more than three years after the judge's appointment. If approved, the judge shall thereafter be subject to approval or rejection in a like manner every sixth year.

AS 15.35.070. Filing declaration by superior court judge

Each judge seeking retention in office shall file with the director a declaration of candidacy for retention no later than August 1 before the general election at which approval or rejection is requisite.

AS 15.35.100. Approval or rejection of district judge

(a) Each district judge shall be subject to approval or rejection at the first general election held more than two years after the judge's appointment under the provisions of AS 22.15.170. If approved, the judge shall thereafter be subject to approval or rejection in a like manner every fourth year.

(b) The district judge shall seek approval in the judicial district in which the judge was originally appointed, or in the district where the judge has served the major portion of the judge's term. The district judge shall designate on the declaration of candidacy the judicial district in which the judge was appointed, or the district where the judge has served the major portion of the judge's term.

AS 15.35.110. Filing declaration by district judge

Each district judge seeking retention in office shall file with the director a declaration of candidacy for retention no later than August 1 before the general election at which approval or rejection is requisite.

AS 15.35.130. Placing name of district judge on ballot

The director shall place the name of a district judge who has properly filed a declaration of candidacy for retention on the ballot in the judicial district designated in the declaration of candidacy for the general election at which approval is sought.

AS 15.58.020. Contents of pamphlet

Each election pamphlet shall contain

photographs and campaign statements submitted by eligible candidates for elective office in the region;

information and recommendations filed under AS 15.58.050 on judicial officers subject to a retention election in the region;

a map of the election district or districts of the region;

sample ballots for election districts of the region;

an absentee ballot application;

for each ballot proposition submitted to the voters by initiative or referendum petition or by the legislature,

(A) the full text of the proposition specifying constitutional or statutory provisions proposed to be affected;

(B) the ballot title and the summary of the proposition prepared by the director or by the lieutenant governor;

(C) a neutral summary of the proposition prepared by the Legislative Affairs Agency;

(D) statements submitted which advocate voter approval or rejection of the proposition not to exceed 500 words;

for each bond question, a statement of the scope of each project as it appears in the bond authorization;

a maximum of two pages of material submitted by each political party;

additional information on voting procedures that the lieutenant governor considers necessary;

for the question whether a constitutional convention shall be called,

(A) a full statement of the question placed on the ballot;

(B) statements not to exceed 500 words that advocate voter approval or rejection of the question.

AS 15.58.030. Material to be filed by candidate

(a) No later than July 15 of a presidential election year, candidates for the offices of the United States President and Vice-President may file with the lieutenant governor photographs and statements advocating their candidacy.

(b) No later than July 15 of a year in which a state general election will be held, an individual who becomes a candidate for the office of United States senator, United States representative, governor, lieutenant governor, state senator, or state representative under AS 15.25.030 may file with the lieutenant governor a photograph and a statement advocating the candidacy. An individual who becomes a candidate for the office of United States senator, United States representative, governor, lieutenant governor, state senator, or state representative under AS 15.25.180 by filing a nominating petition or by another means may file with the lieutenant governor a photograph and a statement advocating the candidacy by July 15 or within 10 days of becoming a candidate, whichever is later.

(c) Each candidate for an office designated under (a) or (b) of this section is allowed one page of space in the pamphlet for a photograph and statement.

(d) Pages on which candidates' photographs or statements appear must be clearly identified with the words "paid for by the candidate."

(e) A candidate's statement must be typewritten and is limited to a position statement of 250 words or less and a biographical statement of 150 words or less.

(f) A candidate's photograph must be a 5" X 7" black and white glossy print taken within the past five years. The photograph must be limited to the head, neck and shoulders of the candidate.

(g) No later than August 7 of the year in which the state general election will be held, a person seeking retention in office as a justice or judge may file with the lieutenant governor a photograph and a statement advocating the candidacy.

AS 15.58.050. Information and recommendations on judicial officers

No later than August 7 of the year in which the state general election will be held, the judicial council shall file with the lieutenant governor a statement including information about each supreme court justice, court of appeals judge, superior court judge, and district court judge who will be subject to a retention election. The statement shall reflect the evaluation of each justice or judge conducted by the judicial council according to law and shall contain a brief statement describing each public reprimand, public censure, or suspension received by the judge under AS 22.30.011(d) during the period covered in the evaluation. A statement may not exceed 600 words.

AS 15.58.060. Charges for space in pamphlet

(a) Each general election candidate shall pay to the lieutenant governor at the time of filing material under this chapter the following:

(1) President or Vice-President of the United States, United States senator, United States representative, governor, lieutenant governor, supreme court justice, and court of appeals judge, $300 each;

(2) superior court judge and district court judge, $150 each;

(3) state senator and state representative, $100 each.

(b) The state chair or executive committee of a political party shall pay to the lieutenant governor at the time of filing material under this chapter $600 for each page purchased.

(c) There is no charge for statements and recommendations submitted by the judicial council or for statements advocating approval or rejection of a proposition submitted to the voters for approval.

AS 22.05.100. Approval or rejection

Each supreme court justice is subject to approval or rejection as provided in AS 15 (Alaska Election Code). The judicial council shall conduct an evaluation of each justice before the retention election and shall provide to the public information about that justice and may provide a recommendation regarding retention or rejection. The information and any recommendation shall be made public at least 60 days before the retention election. The judicial council shall also provide the information and any recommendation to the office of the lieutenant governor in time for publication in the election pamphlet under AS 15.58.050. If a majority of those voting on the question rejects the candidacy, the rejected justice may not be appointed to fill any vacancy in the supreme court, court of appeals, superior court, or district courts of the state for a period of four years thereafter.

AS 22.07.060. Approval or rejection

Each judge of the court of appeals is subject to approval or rejection as provided in AS 15 (Alaska Election Code). The judicial council shall conduct an evaluation of each judge before the retention election and shall provide information to the public about the judge and may provide a recommendation regarding retention or rejection. The information and any recommendation shall be made public at least 60 days before the election. The judicial council shall also provide the information and any recommendation to the office of the lieutenant governor in time for publication in the election pamphlet as required by AS 15.58.050. If a majority of those voting on the question rejects the candidacy of a judge, the rejected judge may not for a period of four years thereafter be appointed to fill a vacancy in the supreme court, the court of appeals, the superior court, or the district court of the state.

AS 22.10.150. Approval or rejection

Each superior court judge is subject to approval or rejection as provided in AS 15 (Alaska Election Code). The judicial council shall conduct an evaluation of each judge before the retention election and shall provide to the public information about the judge and may provide a recommendation regarding retention or rejection. The information and any recommendation shall be made public at least 60 days before the retention election. The judicial council shall also provide the information and any recommendation to the office of the lieutenant governor in time for publication in the election pamphlet under AS 15.58.050. If a majority of those voting on the question rejects the candidacy of a judge, the rejected judge may not for a period of four years thereafter be appointed to fill any vacancy in the supreme court, court of appeals, superior court, or district courts of the state.

AS 22.15.195. Approval or rejection

Each district court judge is subject to approval or rejection as provided in AS 15 (Alaska Election Code). The judicial council shall conduct an evaluation of each judge before the retention election and shall provide to the public information about the judge and may provide a recommendation regarding retention or rejection. The information and the recommendation shall be made public at least 60 days before the election. The judicial council shall also provide the information and any recommendation to the office of the lieutenant governor in time for publication in the election pamphlet under AS 15.58.050. If a majority of those voting on the question rejects the candidacy of a judge, the rejected judge may not for a period of four years thereafter be appointed to fill any vacancy in the supreme court, court of appeals, superior court or district courts of the state.