Alaska’s constitution was adopted by the delegates to the Constitutional Convention on February 5, 1956; ratified on April 24, 1956; and became effective when the Alaska Statehood Act was signed on January 3, 1959. Article IV described the judiciary, and the method of selecting judges using a merit system where the governor appointed candidates nominated by the a citizens’ commission, the Judicial Council. Delegates first debated the pros and cons of using a merit selection system rather than an elective or completely appointive system, and settled on merit selection after the extensive discussion excerpted below. Delegates also considered the requirements for retention elections. The minutes excerpted here show the wide-ranging and thorough nature of the discussion they engaged in before settling on the final structure embodied in the constitution.