Legislature(2019 - 2020)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

04/12/2019 01:30 PM JUDICIARY

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01:32:15 PM Start
01:32:44 PM SJR3
02:59:12 PM Confirmation Hearing
03:13:21 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ SJR 3 CONST. AM: MEMBERSHIP OF JUDICIAL COUNCIL TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Consideration of Governor's Appointees: TELECONFERENCED
Commission on Judicial Conduct - Jane Mores
<Item Above Added to Agenda>
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         April 12, 2019                                                                                         
                           1:32 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                             DRAFT                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Shelley Hughes, Chair                                                                                                   
Senator Mike Shower                                                                                                             
Senator Peter Micciche                                                                                                          
Senator Jesse Kiehl                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Lora Reinbold, Vice Chair                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CONFIRMATION HEARING:                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Commission on Judicial Conduct                                                                                                
Jane Mores - Juneau                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     CONFIRMATION ADVANCED                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 3                                                                                                   
Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the State of                                                                      
Alaska relating to the membership of the judicial council.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD and HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SJR 3                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: CONST. AM: MEMBERSHIP OF JUDICIAL COUNCIL                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) SHOWER                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
01/16/19       (S)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/7/19                                                                                
01/16/19       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/16/19       (S)       JUD, FIN                                                                                               
04/12/19       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SCOTT OGAN, Staff                                                                                                               
SENATOR MIKE SHOWER                                                                                                             
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified  as sponsor of SJR  3, Senator Mike                                                             
Shower.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
NANCY MEADE, General Counsel                                                                                                    
Administrative Offices                                                                                                          
Alaska Court System                                                                                                             
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified and answered questions  during the                                                             
discussion of SJR 3.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SUSANNE DIPIETRO, Executive Director                                                                                            
Alaska Judicial Council                                                                                                         
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified during the hearing on SJR 3.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JANE MORES, Appointee                                                                                                           
Commission on Judicial Conduct                                                                                                  
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as appointee to  the Commission on                                                             
Judicial Conduct.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:32:15 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SHELLEY  HUGHES  called   the  Senate  Judiciary  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 1:32  p.m. Present at the  call to                                                               
order  were  Senators Kiehl,  Shower  and  Chair Hughes.  Senator                                                               
Micciche arrived as the meeting was in progress.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
        SJR 3-CONST. AM: MEMBERSHIP OF JUDICIAL COUNCIL                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:32:44 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES announced that the  first order of business would be                                                               
SENATE  JOINT RESOLUTION  NO. 3,  Proposing an  amendment to  the                                                               
Constitution of  the State of  Alaska relating to  the membership                                                               
of the judicial council.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:33:26 PM                                                                                                                    
SCOTT   OGAN,   Staff,   Senator  Mike   Shower,   Alaska   State                                                               
Legislature, Juneau,  stated he  is the  senior policy  staff for                                                               
Senator Showers.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:33:48 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MIKE SHOWER, Alaska State Legislature, Juneau,                                                                          
paraphrased his sponsor statement, which read as follows:                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     SENATE JOINT  RESOLUTION NO. 3, Proposing  an amendment                                                                    
     to the Constitution of the  State of Alaska relating to                                                                    
     the membership of the judicial council.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Proposing  an  amendment  to the  Constitution  of  the                                                                    
     State  of  Alaska relating  to  the  membership of  the                                                                    
     Judicial Council.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Alaska's Constitution  Art 1  Sec 2 states,  "All power                                                                    
     is inherent with the  people. All government originates                                                                    
     with the people, is founded  on their will only, and is                                                                    
     instituted  solely for  the  good of  the  people as  a                                                                    
     whole."                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Passage of SJR 3  will help restore this aforementioned                                                                    
     principle, as noted  by the Constitutional Convention's                                                                    
     professional    consultants,    "These   sections    in                                                                    
     particular  go  a  long   way  toward  withdrawing  the                                                                    
     judicial branch from  the control of the  people of the                                                                    
     state and placing it under that of the organized bar."                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     The constitutional  convention professional consultants                                                                    
     also  said, "the  convention has  gone farther  than is                                                                    
     necessary, or safe, in  putting them (Judicial Council)                                                                    
     in the  hands of a private  professional group, however                                                                    
     public spirited its members may be."                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:35:03 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SHOWER continued.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Senate  Joint  Resolution  3  places  a  constitutional                                                                    
     amendment  on the  next  general  election ballot  that                                                                    
     would   allow  the   voters  to   decide  whether   the                                                                    
     membership of  the Alaska Judicial Council  Bar members                                                                    
     should   require   legislative  confirmation   of   all                                                                    
     members.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Currently,   only  public   members   are  subject   to                                                                    
     legislative confirmation.  Alaska is  one of  a handful                                                                    
     of   states   that   does   not   require   legislative                                                                    
     confirmation of member of the  Bar to serve on Judicial                                                                    
     Council.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     SJR  3  would  increase   the  public's  voice  on  the                                                                    
     Judicial  Council through  legislative confirmation  of                                                                    
     the  members  of  the   [Alaska]  Bar.  Currently,  the                                                                    
     attorney  members   are  selected   by  the   Board  of                                                                    
     Governors of the Bar Association  and are not currently                                                                    
     subject  to legislative  confirmation  as  they are  in                                                                    
     many   other   states.    The   lack   of   legislative                                                                    
     confirmation  is a  stark  glaring  oversight when  all                                                                    
     members  of every  other Alaskan  regulatory or  quasi-                                                                    
     judicial agency  are subject to  confirmation according                                                                    
     to Article 3 Section 26 of the Alaska Constitution.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:35:53 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SHOWER continued.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     The  sponsor of  this  legislation  believes that  that                                                                    
     [the Alaska]  Bar has too much  unilateral influence on                                                                    
     who  is  ultimately  submitted   to  the  Governor  for                                                                    
     consideration of becoming a judge or justice.                                                                              
     Alaska's  current  crime   wave  requires  a  wholistic                                                                    
     approach  in considering  all aspects  of the  criminal                                                                    
     justice system. In some states,  judges run for popular                                                                    
     election, with  "hang em high" judges  often winning by                                                                    
     popular affirmation.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     This  measure  will  still  protect  the  integrity  of                                                                    
     judicial  temperament  and  impartiality  with  greater                                                                    
     accountability by the people's representatives.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:36:23 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SHOWER continued.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     SJR 3 will  still put the Chief Justice  in a perceived                                                                    
     and   sometimes  actual   conflict  of   interest.  The                                                                    
     Judicial  Council  must  act  by  a  concurrence  of  4                                                                    
     members,   as   required   by   Article   IV   of   the                                                                    
     constitution.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     According to  the Judicial  Council Bylaws  (Article V,                                                                    
     Section 1),  the Chief Justice  normally does  not vote                                                                    
     on any  matter coming  before the  council    except in                                                                    
     those  instances, quoting  the Bylaws,  "when to  do so                                                                    
     could change the result." Because  of this provision in                                                                    
     the Council's  bylaws, on those occasions  when the six                                                                    
     regular  voting members  split 3-3,  the Chief  Justice                                                                    
     suddenly  morphs  from  a   non-voting  member  of  the                                                                    
     Council into  the crucial deciding  vote on  whether an                                                                    
     applicant will be forwarded to the Governor or not.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Inevitably,  this empowers  the  Chief  Justice to  use                                                                    
     inclusion or  exclusion of an  applicant as a  means of                                                                    
     influencing who will  be among his or her  peers on the                                                                    
     bench.  It  is  even  more alarming  when  this  occurs                                                                    
     during a Supreme  Court nominating vote    and in fact,                                                                    
     these tie-breaking  votes actually occurred on  each of                                                                    
     the last two Supreme Court vacancies.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     SJR  3   provides  a   cursory  level   of  legislative                                                                    
     oversight to members of the  [Alaska] Bar that serve on                                                                    
     the Council.  The [Alaska] Bar having  unilateral power                                                                    
     to  appoint who  selects judges  that the  Governor can                                                                    
     consider, is  an inherent conflict  of interest  to the                                                                    
     profession, and  casts doubt on their  objectivity with                                                                    
     the   judicial  temperament   and  philosophy   of  the                                                                    
     candidate.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:37:40 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SHOWER continued.                                                                                                       
     The tie  votes on the Council  are especially troubling                                                                    
     when  it involves  a split  of all  three public  (non-                                                                    
     attorney) members voting one  way, and all the attorney                                                                    
     members voting  the opposite way. Though  rare over the                                                                    
     course  of the  Council's history,  these attorney/non-                                                                    
     attorney   vote   splits   have  happened   much   more                                                                    
     frequently in the past few years.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     From  June 22,  2012    Oct 10,  2013, there  were five                                                                    
     attorney/non-attorney split  votes, in which  all three                                                                    
     public  members voted  to send  an applicant's  name to                                                                    
     the  Governor, but  the Chief  Justice  sided with  the                                                                    
     attorney members and turned down the applicant.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     I  urge  your support  for  SJR  3 and  the  additional                                                                    
     legislative oversight  it would provide to  the members                                                                    
     of the Bar on Judicial Council.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:38:18 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SHOWER  offered to  provide context  by referring  to the                                                               
three  branches   of  government,   the  executive   branch,  the                                                               
legislative, and the judicial branch.  He offered his belief that                                                               
allowing  a  judge to  be  picked  from  within their  own  ranks                                                               
without a voice from the people  is like allowing the governor to                                                               
pick the  next governor from  a pool of governors  or legislators                                                               
picking  who  the  next  legislators  will  be  from  a  pool  of                                                               
legislators.  He did  not think  most people  would think  this a                                                               
reasonable  approach.  In  this   case,  the  state  is  allowing                                                               
attorneys to pick who the next judges are going to be.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SHOWER  asked to read  from an article in  the Federalist                                                               
Papers  No.  39,  "The  Conformity  of  the  Plan  to  Republican                                                               
Principles,"  by James  Madison. He  noted it  is written  in old                                                               
English. He read an excerpt from paragraph 2.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     The first  question that offers itself  is, whether the                                                                    
     general form  and aspect of the  government be strictly                                                                    
     republican. It is  evident that no other  form would be                                                                    
     reconcilable with the genius  of the people of America;                                                                    
     with the  fundamental principles of the  Revolution; or                                                                    
     with that honorable  determination which animates every                                                                    
     votary   of  freedom,   to  rest   all  our   political                                                                    
     experiments  on  the  capacity  of  mankind  for  self-                                                                    
     government. If  the plan of the  convention, therefore,                                                                    
     be found  to depart from the  republican character, its                                                                    
     advocates must abandon it as no longer defensible.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
He read an excerpt from paragraph 4:                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     If  we   resort  for  a  criterion   to  the  different                                                                    
     principles on  which different forms of  government are                                                                    
     established,  we may  define a  republic to  be, or  at                                                                    
     least  may  bestow that  name  on,  a government  which                                                                    
     derives all its powers  directly or indirectly from the                                                                    
     great  body  of  the  people, and  is  administered  by                                                                    
     persons holding  their offices  during pleasure,  for a                                                                    
     limited  period,   or  during  good  behavior.   It  is                                                                    
     ESSENTIAL to such a government  that it be derived from                                                                    
     the   great  body   of  the   society,   not  from   an                                                                    
     inconsiderable proportion,  or a  favored class  of it;                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
He read an excerpt from paragraph 5:                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Even the judges, with all  other officers of the Union,                                                                    
     will, as in  the several States, be  the choice, though                                                                    
     a  remote   choice,  of  the  people   themselves,  the                                                                    
     duration of the appointments  is equally conformable to                                                                    
     the  republican standard,  and to  the  model of  State                                                                    
     constitutions.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  SHOWER   stated  that   the  process  outlined   in  the                                                               
[Constitution of  the State  of Alaska]  for selecting  judges in                                                               
Alaska,  in his  view,  is  not republican  as  defined by  James                                                               
Madison in The  Federalist No. 39 and  guaranteed in Constitution                                                               
of the  State of  Alaska in  Article IV Section  4. He  said that                                                               
Alaska's  Judicial process  is  un-republican  because it  grants                                                               
power [to  one of  three] branches of  the state's  government to                                                               
judicial  nominees who  are not  even  the remote  choice of  the                                                               
people.  Instead,  they   are  the  choice  of   the  Alaska  Bar                                                               
Association,   a    private   organization   consisting    of   a                                                               
disproportionate portion  of the  population, about  4,500 people                                                               
or 0.6 percentage  of the state's population. This  is the reason                                                               
for SJR  3 to  allow the  public a voice  in selecting  judges by                                                               
allowing  them  to  select  who serves  on  the  Alaska  Judicial                                                               
Council.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:41:43 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. OGAN said  that SJR 3 would give the  legislature the ability                                                               
to  confirm the  members of  the bar  that are  appointed to  the                                                               
Alaska Judicial Council. As the  sponsor said, Article I, Section                                                               
2 states  that "All  political power is  inherent in  the people.                                                               
All government originates with the  people, is founded upon their                                                               
will only,  and is instituted solely  for the good of  the people                                                               
as a whole."                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
He said that Alaska's unified  court system is very efficient. He                                                               
said that there  are advantages to have  an independent judiciary                                                               
with  an  independent  body free  from  elections,  and  campaign                                                               
donations. The framers  were mindful when they  made the decision                                                               
to set up a merit system.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  OGAN said  that the  sponsor supports  that philosophy.  The                                                               
disadvantage is  that the branch  of government that  is supposed                                                               
to provide  the checks and  balances has no  corresponding checks                                                               
from the  citizens. In contrast,  many states have  county courts                                                               
and   other  jurisdictions   that   challenge  superior   court's                                                               
assumptions or  rulings or present reasonable  arguments why they                                                               
should  rule one  way or  the other.  Further, many  other states                                                               
confirm members of the bar.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
He  said he  fully expects  the  Alaska Supreme  Court to  recuse                                                               
itself  if  a constitutional  challenge  occurs  with SJR  3.  He                                                               
anticipated the Alaska Court System  would oppose the measure. He                                                               
offered his  belief that the  Alaska Supreme Court has  shown its                                                               
bias by  opposing this. He  said that the Alaska  Bar Association                                                               
(ABA) will  not say that the  founders ignored the wisdom  of the                                                               
professional  consultants it  hired. He  said that  the Judiciary                                                               
Committee  in the  Constitutional  Convention  consisted of  five                                                               
lawyers and two laymen. According  to the record, the purportedly                                                               
fair and  balanced committee quickly agreed  to follow principles                                                               
suggested by  the American Bar  Association and  the professional                                                               
civic groups.  The Judiciary Committee deliberately  designed the                                                               
Alaska  Judicial  Council  with  a  weighted  balance  to  easily                                                               
prevail over  the people's representatives  in a close  call. The                                                               
Committee of the Day created  a judicial oligarchy to empower the                                                               
Alaska Bar  Association as the  sole source power of  this branch                                                               
of  government.  He  said  that   the  sponsor  finds  this  very                                                               
troubling. He characterized  it as reminding him of  the fable of                                                               
democracy  with a  committee  comprised of  five  wolves and  two                                                               
lambs deciding what is for lunch.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:45:07 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. OGAN said that Vic  Fisher, the last surviving constitutional                                                               
founder wrote  a book, in  which he  said, "the main  features of                                                               
the  proposed judicial  council  system  were unity,  simplicity,                                                               
efficiency,  accessibility, independence  for  the executive  and                                                               
legislative branches and accountability to the people."                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. OGAN said  that regrettably the accountability  to the people                                                               
in the selection of judges got  left on the table. Only a smidgen                                                               
of accountability is left to  the people, when the bar-controlled                                                               
council  evaluates  judges and  tells  citizens  how to  vote  on                                                               
retention during election.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:45:52 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES  asked whether  he was quoting  from Vic  Fisher and                                                               
when the quote started and ended.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:46:02 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. OGAN  re-read, "The  main features  of the  proposed judicial                                                               
council    system    were    unity,    simplicity,    efficiency,                                                               
accessibility,  independence for  the  executive and  legislative                                                               
branches and accountability to the people."                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. OGAN  restated that regrettably accountability  to the people                                                               
in the selection of judges got  left on the table. Only a smidgen                                                               
of accountability is  left to the people  when the bar-controlled                                                               
council  evaluates  judges and  tells  citizens  how to  vote  on                                                               
retention  during election.  That  is really  the  only time  the                                                               
people have a say in this, he said.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR.  OGAN  acknowledged that  a  minority  of three  members  are                                                               
confirmed by the  legislature and the chief justice  weighs in if                                                               
there is a  split vote. He reiterated the  sponsor's statement as                                                               
noted   by    the   Constitutional    Convention's   professional                                                               
consultants, "These sections  in particular go a  long way toward                                                               
withdrawing the  judicial branch from  the control of  the people                                                               
of the state and placing it under that of the organized bar."                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
He  read,  "No state  constitution  has  ever  gone this  far  by                                                               
placing one of  these three coordinate branches  beyond the reach                                                               
of democratic  controls. We feel  that in its desire  to preserve                                                               
the  integrity of  the courts,  the convention  has gone  farther                                                               
than  necessary  or safe  in  putting  them  in  the hands  of  a                                                               
private, professional  group however public spirited  its members                                                               
may be."                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SHOWER  agreed with  the constitutional  consultants that                                                               
the convention  went to far  when it placed the  entire judiciary                                                               
branch under the control of the Alaska Bar Association.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:48:19 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES  asked whether  he knew what  the response  was from                                                               
the constitutional convention to the consultants.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. OGAN responded  that it apparently ignored them.  He said you                                                               
might say the five wolves had the lambs for lunch.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES  said the foundation  of government is  a separation                                                               
of powers  doctrine. She  said it  also relies  on the  check and                                                               
balances  between  branches.  She  asked  what  other  check  and                                                               
balances the legislature  has on the judiciary  branch other than                                                               
the appropriation process or adjusting a court rule.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.   OGAN   said  the   legislature   attempts   to  deal   with                                                               
constitutional  questions  from  time  to time.  He  offered  his                                                               
belief  that the  frustration is  that  some legislators  believe                                                               
that  at  times the  Alaska  Supreme  Court legislates  from  the                                                               
bench. He said that checks and  balances are an important part of                                                               
democracy  and the  sponsor  is not  attempting  to undermine  or                                                               
politicize it.  He said the  Constitution of the State  of Alaska                                                               
bans  political  consideration  [for appointees]  to  the  Alaska                                                               
Judicial Council. That ban would  apply to the legislature during                                                               
[the appointment and confirmation process.]                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:50:50 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HUGHES   said  she  appreciated  the   premise  that  this                                                               
resolution is based  upon, that "All political  power is inherent                                                               
in  the people.  All government  originates with  the people,  is                                                               
founded upon  their will only,  and is instituted solely  for the                                                               
good of the people as a  whole." Therefore, she will keep an open                                                               
mind, she said.  She indicated that [the  committee] has received                                                               
substantial  opposition to  the  resolution.  She emphasized  the                                                               
importance  of  checks  and  balances. Part  of  the  checks  and                                                               
balances are  achieved by  the confirmation  of the  three public                                                               
members appointed  to the Alaska Judicial  Council. The committee                                                               
will hear  from an appointee  to the Judicial  Conduct Commission                                                               
later  today.   Those  appointees   are  all  confirmed   by  the                                                               
legislature, which provides some  additional checks and balances.                                                               
However, the  judiciary's checks and balances  on the legislature                                                               
is  quite high  since  it  can overturn  and  determine laws  the                                                               
legislature has passed are unconstitutional.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
She  emphasized  the   need  for  checks  and   balances  in  the                                                               
discussion. She  offered that part  of the opposition  is because                                                               
[Alaska]  has a  merit-based  system. She  acknowledged that  the                                                               
judicial process  is politicized,  and corruption occurs  in many                                                               
states in  the Lower 48. For  example, during her travels  to the                                                               
Lower 48, she has observed  that signs are everywhere when judges                                                               
are  up  for election.  Although  many  states have  an  election                                                               
process, she  offered her belief  Alaska's system is  unique. She                                                               
asked how Alaska's system compares to ones in other states.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. OGAN  said he was unsure  of the exact number  of states that                                                               
nominate  their judges  through a  judicial council,  but only  a                                                               
small   handful  do   not   have   legislative  confirmation   of                                                               
appointees.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES stated  that another point of those  who are opposed                                                               
[to SJR 3] is that the system is working fine.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:52:55 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  SHOWER said  he agrees  with  the phrase,  "If it's  not                                                               
broke, don't fix it." However, he  questioned if it does work. He                                                               
said  that  historically  when  the vote  is  split,  the  public                                                               
members of  the Alaska Judicial  Council (AJC) vote one  way, and                                                               
the attorneys  vote another way.  He said that the  chief justice                                                               
of the Alaska  Supreme Court always sides with  the attorneys. He                                                               
acknowledged that it could be argued  that this is because of the                                                               
data  and that  the decisions  are  based on  merit. However,  he                                                               
reiterated that it  was troubling to him when  the public members                                                               
vote  one way  and the  attorneys, and  the Alaska  Supreme Court                                                               
chief justice vote  the opposite. He pointed out  that the Alaska                                                               
Bar  Association  consists   of  a  very  small   subset  of  the                                                               
population. He  characterized the attorneys  as a group  who have                                                               
the same mindset due to  their training and duties, which results                                                               
in a  more homogenous group. Of  course, the same thing  could be                                                               
said about the  military or the legislature,  but the legislature                                                               
consists of Republicans and Democrats, he said.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
He expressed further  concern that the opposition  is coming from                                                               
the Alaska Supreme  Court. It reminded him  of military strategy,                                                               
that the  closer the  military gets  to a  target that  is really                                                               
near and dear  to the enemy's heart, the harder  they will fight.                                                               
He wondered if he was on  to something with this resolution, that                                                               
if [the opposition] is fighting  hard, there may be something [to                                                               
examine]. Perhaps he has identified  something that could provide                                                               
a better  balance to the  system, which should be  considered. He                                                               
clarified   that   when   he  speaks   of   balance,   he   means                                                               
representation  by the  people, which  is why  he has  introduced                                                               
this resolution.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SHOWER said he anticipates  opposition, which to date has                                                               
come mostly  from lawyers  and the Alaska  Supreme Court.  At the                                                               
end  of the  day, Alaska  is  a representative  republic and  the                                                               
people have  a voice, he  said. He  emphasized that all  power is                                                               
derived from  the will  of the  people. A  full one-third  of the                                                               
government has complete power over  the executive and legislative                                                               
branches, he said. He found that  to be troubling. He offered his                                                               
belief that the  people have little to no voice  in the selection                                                               
of the attorney members. He said  a small group pick members from                                                               
its own pool  to serve on the AJC, who  are subsequently selected                                                               
by  the governor,  and  serve on  the bench.  He  said that  [the                                                               
Alaska Supreme  Court] can  strike down  laws and  make decisions                                                               
about  everything the  legislature  does. He  did  not think  the                                                               
court would be  happy if a legislator  brought legislation before                                                               
them  to argue.  He characterized  it as  a "one-way  street." He                                                               
said what drives  his decision-making process is the  will of the                                                               
people and the Constitution of the State of Alaska.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:57:08 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HUGHES  agreed   that  standing  up  for   the  people  is                                                               
important. She  said she  can speak to  this in  public. However,                                                               
until  the ethics  law is  fixed,  she cannot  work privately  on                                                               
health care  laws [due to  a potential conflict of  interest]. In                                                               
fact, she had  to withdraw a bill that "stood  up" for the people                                                               
and the  health-care industry. The  health insurance  industry is                                                               
not happy  about the bill,  she said. However, she  must consider                                                               
what is right for the people, she said.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
She   said   that   she  has   thought   about   democratic   and                                                               
representative government  and the potential for  corruption. She                                                               
emphasized that  she is not implying  in any way that  the Alaska                                                               
Bar Association  is corrupt. However,  when the  attorney members                                                               
are picked  from the pool, it  is a less democratic  process. She                                                               
reviewed   the  three   branches   of   government,  noting   the                                                               
legislative branch is  a mix of parties, the  executive branch is                                                               
typically  one party  or  another, and  the  judiciary branch  is                                                               
supposed to be nonpartisan. However,  she said her research shows                                                               
that  the legal  profession  in  Alaska in  the  1950s and  1960s                                                               
tended to be moderate and slightly  left of center. She said that                                                               
has changed, depending  on the source of the  research, such that                                                               
68-74 percent of  attorneys now identify themselves to  be on the                                                               
left.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES  said that the  legislature can create  balance. She                                                               
emphasized  her  belief that  when  she  and her  colleagues  are                                                               
voting on  confirmation hearings, they consider  candidates based                                                               
on  merit. She  explained  that they  examine qualifications  and                                                               
merit. If  SJR 3 were  to pass, it would  not mean that  merit is                                                               
being  disregarded  since the  pool  would  still come  from  the                                                               
Alaska Bar  Association. Thus, if  this resolution were  to pass,                                                               
every  candidate would  be considered  acceptable based  on their                                                               
merits  and  qualifications. She  said  the  opposition seems  to                                                               
think it  would be  politicized, and  it might  be for  some. She                                                               
said  that members  of the  executive branch  are all  confirmed,                                                               
including  the  attorney general.  She  offered  her belief  that                                                               
merit would not be removed from the process.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:01:04 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MICCICHE joined the meeting.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:01:17 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SHOWER reiterated  that the Constitution of  the State of                                                               
Alaska does not  allow the process to be politicized,  but we are                                                               
humans. He  said he does  not believe that judges  are absolutely                                                               
unbiased since they are human, although  he is sure they do their                                                               
best. He  offered his belief  that SJR 3  gives a balance  of who                                                               
sits  on the  Alaska Judicial  Council. The  council selects  and                                                               
forwards  the names  of candidates  for potential  judges to  the                                                               
governor and the governor selects the judge.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:02:34 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  KIEHL  appreciated  the   discussion  of  principle.  He                                                               
acknowledged that  the legislature has considered  appointees who                                                               
are not of  the majority party in the legislature  and have voted                                                               
them down without a single  word of debate. He questioned whether                                                               
that is always apolitical. He  asked for further clarification if                                                               
the Alaska Supreme  Court has ever elected a  chief justice prior                                                               
to the retention vote of the people.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. OGAN answered that he was unsure.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SHOWER deferred to anyone who may know the answer.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:04:31 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KIEHL said it is important  to him, since it is important                                                               
to have a vital check of  the people. He said Alaskan voters have                                                               
a  say in  who serves  on  the bench.  He characterized  it as  a                                                               
critical  check. He  said he  would  be surprised  if anyone  was                                                               
elected  to a  three-year term  as  chief justice  to the  Alaska                                                               
Supreme  Court  without  having  gone before  the  voters  for  a                                                               
retention vote.  He said  he was intrigued  by the  James Madison                                                               
quote:                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Even the judges, with all  other officers of the Union,                                                                    
     will, as in  the several States, be  the choice, though                                                                    
     a  remote   choice,  of  the  people   themselves,  the                                                                    
     duration of the appointments  is equally conformable to                                                                    
     the  republican standard,  and to  the  model of  State                                                                    
     constitutions.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
He said  that if  a judge  has been retained  by the  people, the                                                               
public  has weighed  in and  made  the decision.  He offered  his                                                               
belief that  the vote reflects the  will of the people.  He asked                                                               
who the consultants to the  Alaska Constitutional Convention were                                                               
and if they were Alaskans or consultants from the Lower 48.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SHOWER said  that the "remote voice of  the people" would                                                               
refer to  a voice  in the  selection process.  He said  that this                                                               
happens in  some states and  in others,  such as Alaska,  it does                                                               
not. He said  the distinction is whether the  judges are directly                                                               
elected.  He said  that there  is not  any direct  line from  the                                                               
voters  to the  three people  who  serve on  the Alaska  Judicial                                                               
Council. He reiterated that historically,  when the chief justice                                                               
sides with the three attorney  appointees, these four individuals                                                               
have  made  the  decision  of  which  names  to  forward  to  the                                                               
governor.  He maintained  that  means the  people  would have  no                                                               
voice in the process. Instead, the  decisions are made by a small                                                               
subset of the  population. He acknowledged that  the three public                                                               
members are confirmed by the  legislature, but the other four are                                                               
not confirmed, which he found most concerning.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:07:53 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KIEHL offered that when  the chief justice is retained by                                                               
a vote of  the people, it means  that at least 60  percent of the                                                               
Alaska  Judicial  Council voting  members  are  confirmed by  the                                                               
legislature. He  asked for  further clarification  on consultants                                                               
for the constitutional convention.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. OGAN  responded that he  referenced Vic Fischer's  book [,"To                                                               
Russia  with   Love,  An  Alaskan's  Journey."]   He  read,  "The                                                               
consultants  suggested  the number  of  revisions  that would  in                                                               
their  view  democratize the  proposed  system  by providing  for                                                               
legislative  confirmation the  attorney members  of the  judicial                                                               
council, adding a superior court  judge and another lay member to                                                               
the membership  of the  council and  other changes.  However, the                                                               
suggestions were  not accepted  by the  meeting of  the committee                                                               
chairman and never reached the convention floor."                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR.  OGAN  surmised  that  if   they  were  advising  the  Alaska                                                               
Constitutional  Convention   Judiciary  Committee   that  someone                                                               
considered them qualified.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:09:38 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HUGHES  asked  for  further   clarification  on  how  many                                                               
attorneys drafted the Constitution of the State of Alaska.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  SHOWER offered  to research  it and  report back  to the                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:10:09 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KIEHL recalled  the sponsor referenced a  series of split                                                               
votes by  the Alaska  Judicial Council. He  asked how  many total                                                               
votes were made during the  18-month period that resulted in five                                                               
split  votes. He  further asked  for  the number  of split  votes                                                               
going back  over a  longer period  and whether  this is  a system                                                               
that  has a  consistent problem  or if  there are  a few  outlier                                                               
votes.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  SHOWER offered  to research  it and  report back  to the                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:11:43 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES said judges are  sworn to uphold the Constitution of                                                               
the State of Alaska, yet people weigh in against this.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SHOWER observed  that SJR 3 seems to be  a sensitive area                                                               
since it is upsetting people. He  offered his belief that most of                                                               
the opposition  is from the  Alaska Bar Association  and lawyers.                                                               
He offered his  belief that the people would want  a voice in the                                                               
process of  selecting judges. He  reiterated that the  Alaska Bar                                                               
Association really gets to make the choice.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:13:49 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES pointed out that this  is not giving people a direct                                                               
choice  over   who  sits  on   the  bench,  but  it   relates  to                                                               
confirmation  of  members  appointed   to  serve  on  the  Alaska                                                               
Judicial  Council  and  that  group  selects  names  of  judicial                                                               
candidates to  forward to  the governor.  She offered  her belief                                                               
that the names selected would be of high merit.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:14:13 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MICCICHE said  he does  not have  any personal  vendetta                                                               
against  the  court.  He  pointed  out that  the  court  and  the                                                               
legislature are supposed to be  isolated bodies. The courts judge                                                               
the  legislature's   work  and   define  if   what  is   done  is                                                               
constitutional,  which  is  often not  reciprocal.  However,  the                                                               
voters can choose not to retain  a judge. He asked whether judges                                                               
should be selected by the people.  He offered his belief that the                                                               
tendency is to  send everything to the people to  decide. He said                                                               
that the reason [the Alaska  Bar Association has selected members                                                               
of the Alaska  Judicial Council] is because they  are the experts                                                               
in  this  field.  The  reason  legislators  generally  make  good                                                               
decisions is because  they are forced to become  experts. He said                                                               
he  is not  taking  an  adverse position  on  this  bill, but  he                                                               
wondered  how much  should be  sent to  the people.  He concluded                                                               
that Alaska does not have that kind of government.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SHOWER  said this issue  arose when a young  man provided                                                               
him with  his research on this  topic, that it was  not something                                                               
he had  considered. He related  his personal experience  in front                                                               
of a  court was when he  was a major  still in the Air  Force. He                                                               
was  ticketed  for having  a  load  of  wood extending  over  the                                                               
sidewalk. He appeared in uniform  and the case was dismissed. His                                                               
experience with judges has been very positive.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
He was not sure  if it would be better to use  this process or to                                                               
hold elections  to determine judges. He  acknowledged that voters                                                               
vote on whether  to retain judges [in Alaska], which  is based on                                                               
merit  and  performance. He  said  that  legislators are  elected                                                               
representatives of  the people.  However, he maintained  that the                                                               
people do not have a voice  in who selects the judicial branch of                                                               
government  members. He  said he  would not  propose that  Alaska                                                               
elect  its  judge  or  for   the  legislature  to  pick  judicial                                                               
nominees. However, he  said he thinks that it  is very reasonable                                                               
that the members of the Alaska Judicial Council [be confirmed].                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:18:54 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MICCICHE said  there are  reasons  for the  court to  be                                                               
independent or it would be a  mob rule on every decision. He said                                                               
that  mob rule  is not  always the  right one.  He said  the five                                                               
split votes does  not mean anything to him, but  he would like to                                                               
understand the  problem. He  acknowledged that  he has  been very                                                               
frustrated with the courts because  they do not always agree with                                                               
him.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SHOWER asked the record to  reflect that he does not have                                                               
a vendetta.  This issue was  brought to him.  He has tried  to be                                                               
clear  that  the court  generally  works  fine. He  reviewed  the                                                               
Alaska  Constitutional Convention  related  to  selection of  the                                                               
judiciary.   He  recapped   that  the   Alaska  Bar   Association                                                               
essentially  makes  the choices  of  [who  serves on  the  Alaska                                                               
Judicial  Council   and  the  AJC  forwards   names  of  judicial                                                               
candidates to the  governor]. He characterized it as  a small gap                                                               
that he is trying to address.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:21:21 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. OGAN  said that judges  and courts have  a lot of  power over                                                               
Alaskans. They have the power  to imprison and impoverish people.                                                               
The courts can  overturn laws the legislature passes.  He said he                                                               
served in the  building for 10 years. He said  the litmus test he                                                               
would have for the Alaska  Judicial Council appointees is if they                                                               
would  select people  who are  fair  and impartial  and will  not                                                               
legislate  from  the bench.  The  Constitution  of the  State  of                                                               
Alaska says the bar cannot  consider the politics of an appointee                                                               
to  the Alaska  Judicial  Council and  the  legislature would  be                                                               
constitutionally prohibited from doing the same.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:24:02 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KIEHL  expressed an interest  in hearing from  the Alaska                                                               
Court  System.  He offered  his  belief  that the  Constitutional                                                               
Convention did not miss anything.  He said that they required two                                                               
branches  of government  to make  a decision.  With a  regulatory                                                               
board, the governor appoints member  and the legislature confirms                                                               
the  appointee.  The board  can  set  regulations and  fees.  The                                                               
governor  appoints  members  to  the Board  of  Regents  and  the                                                               
legislature  confirms. He  said that  this seems  to be  the only                                                               
situation that has two and  a half members. The governor appoints                                                               
and the  legislature confirms half  of the members of  the Alaska                                                               
Judicial Council.  The AJC screens  applicants, and  the governor                                                               
appoints judges.  He offered his  belief that more checks  in the                                                               
process  occur  with the  Alaska  Judicial  Council, rather  than                                                               
fewer.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:25:26 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SHOWER  said he does  think [the gap] was  overlooked. He                                                               
referred  to the  Alaska  Constitutional  Convention minutes.  He                                                               
read, "As  noted by the professional  consultants, these sections                                                               
in  particular go  a  long way  toward  withdrawing the  judicial                                                               
branch from  the control of the  people of the state  and placing                                                               
it under the organized bar.  The convention has gone farther than                                                               
necessary or safe  in putting them, the judicial  council, in the                                                               
hands of  a private, professional group,  however public-spirited                                                               
its  members  may  be."  He  surmised  that  these  people  would                                                               
disagree  that  there  is  more control  since  the  very  people                                                               
involved in  the process  say that there  is less.  He maintained                                                               
that the  people's voice is  being removed from the  selection of                                                               
who ends up being on the bench and wielding immense power.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:26:34 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES said that the Alaska  Bar Association is not part of                                                               
the legislature  or the executive  branch, so she arrives  at one                                                               
and one-half.  She said the  governor makes the  appointment, but                                                               
the legislature only confirms half of the board members.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  KIEHL   said  the  governor  appoints   and  legislature                                                               
confirms some members of the  Alaska Judicial Council. The people                                                               
vote on  retention of the  chief justice.  It is in  the judicial                                                               
branch  and the  Alaska Judicial  Council screens  applicants for                                                               
the governor. He maintained that  all three branches are involved                                                               
in this  process. He said  he would like  to hear more  about the                                                               
consultants   because   the  Alaska   Constitutional   Convention                                                               
delegates  were elected  by the  people. The  delegates disagreed                                                               
with the consultants.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES  said that this  relates to the  appointment process                                                               
and  not how  the judiciary  branch and  legislative branch  work                                                               
together.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:27:57 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. OGAN  offered his  belief that  only a  few judges  have been                                                               
turned down  by an  election. He recalled  that perhaps  only one                                                               
other  judge was  voted down  in 40  years. He  said he  votes no                                                               
unless he knows the judge. He said  he thinks it is good to get a                                                               
little "fresh blood"  in there once in a while.  He said the non-                                                               
retention is  a pretty limited  check and  it is rarely  used. He                                                               
acknowledged that  judges can be removed  through the impeachment                                                               
process. He offered his belief  that this resolution would make a                                                               
very small correction in the process.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  SHOWER offered  to research  and provide  information on                                                               
the consultants to the Alaska Constitutional Convention.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:29:40 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MICCICHE  said he  would like to  put more  emphasized on                                                               
understanding the reason the three  positions are independent. He                                                               
said he appreciated Mr. Ogan's  statement that the legislature is                                                               
not  overly  political  with  respect   to  the  people  who  are                                                               
confirmed. He  said, "But that  just simply isn't the  case." The                                                               
legislature "digs stuff  up from elementary school  and we parade                                                               
it  out there  as though  the rest  of us  should be  casting the                                                               
first  stone."  He  acknowledged  that  no  one  is  perfect.  He                                                               
reiterated that  the confirmation  process is not  apolitical. He                                                               
said that  a prime  example is  the Board of  Fish. He  said that                                                               
this  sounds like  a change  that he  would support.  However, he                                                               
maintained he  would like to  put more  time in to  determine why                                                               
the three  positions are independently selected  by the technical                                                               
experts as opposed to those who will be weighing in politically.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  HUGHES   suggested  that  doing  a   background  check  on                                                               
appointees is  not something she  considers to be  political. She                                                               
considers it to be part of the qualification and merit check.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SHOWER  focused his concern  that a small  subset selects                                                               
who serves  on the  Alaska Judicial Council.  He would  prefer to                                                               
have representatives  of the people  making those  decisions. His                                                               
concern  is  that  the  ultimate decisions  made  by  the  Alaska                                                               
Judicial Council could  be swayed. Again, less  than 5,000 people                                                               
are part of the Alaska Bar Association, he said.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:33:44 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MICCICHE  said this is  the second  or third time  he has                                                               
seen this  approach since  he has served  in the  legislature. He                                                               
said he  will be very  careful about  this measure. He  will also                                                               
keep an open mind, he said.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES  offered her  belief that  the last  iteration would                                                               
have added three public members. She  said that SJR 3 seems to be                                                               
a much smaller tweak and a more reasonable approach.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:35:33 PM                                                                                                                    
NANCY  MEADE,  General  Counsel, Administrative  Offices,  Alaska                                                               
Court System,  Anchorage, stated  that this  is a  resolution the                                                               
Alaska Supreme Court  has asked her to oppose. She  said that the                                                               
reason  the Alaska  Court  System  opposes SJR  3  is because  it                                                               
believes that it is not a  harmless change to the Constitution of                                                               
the State  of Alaska  to add  confirmation. In  fact, it  has the                                                               
potential to  be quite harmful  to the judicial  independence and                                                               
it goes to the administration of justice.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
She  offered  to provide  the  reasons  why  the court  does  not                                                               
believe it  is a harmless change.  She said she has  no intent to                                                               
disparage  anyone's  intentions   in  the  legislature.  However,                                                               
confirmation  of appointees  often  does  become something  other                                                               
than 100  percent merit based.  Currently, the appointees  by the                                                               
Alaska  Bar  Association  to  the  Alaska  Judicial  Council  are                                                               
appointed  based on  merit. She  said that  not a  lot of  people                                                               
apply  to serve  on the  Alaska Judicial  Council. These  are not                                                               
considered to be plum positions  that are highly competitive with                                                               
twelve or fifteen people being voted  on, she said. She said that                                                               
Ms. DiPietro can  provide more information; however,  it is often                                                               
one, two,  or three  attorneys who  apply. Those  attorneys would                                                               
run the  risk of having "red  flags" raised that might  be things                                                               
said in  a legal  brief, when they  were representing  someone in                                                               
court or previously made donations  to politicians. She said that                                                               
these  are not  things that  the Alaska  Bar Association  members                                                               
would be  considering when voting  on appointees to serve  on the                                                               
council. She  pointed out that  Attorney General Clarkson  had to                                                               
defend himself against  things he said in  litigation and explain                                                               
how those  comments may not  necessarily mirror his  beliefs. She                                                               
said she did  not agree with the implication that  this change is                                                               
harmless.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. MEADE said that the  sponsor and sponsor's staff acknowledged                                                               
that the very  goal of this is  to change the nature  of who sits                                                               
on  the  bench. She  pointed  out  the  comments in  the  sponsor                                                               
statement about criminal justice and  "hang 'em high judges." The                                                               
implication is  that perhaps some  judges are perceived  as being                                                               
not  tough  enough  when   sentencing  criminal  defendants.  She                                                               
reiterated  that the  goal is  to get  behind who  serves on  the                                                               
bench. She said that the thinking  appears to be that if there is                                                               
a little  bit more check on  who chooses the nominees  that go to                                                               
the governor that  it might change the nature of  the judges. She                                                               
said  that  is   why  it  goes  beyond   a  harmless  legislative                                                               
confirmation just like every other board and commission process.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:39:16 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. MEADE cautioned that the  Alaska Judicial Council is not just                                                               
like  every  other  board and  commission.  The  Alaska  Judicial                                                               
Council is an  independent entity created in  the Constitution of                                                               
the State of  Alaska. The Board of Fish and  the Board of Barbers                                                               
and  Hairdressers is  not in  the  Constitution of  the State  of                                                               
Alaska, she said.  The council is established  specifically as an                                                               
independent group.  It is  in the  judiciary article  on purpose.                                                               
She said  the constitutional  drafters discussed  this provision.                                                               
She provided an  excerpt from the minutes  [in members' packets].                                                               
This  is  not  a  "stark  glaring  oversight"  that  the  sponsor                                                               
statement indication.  This was  an absolutely  purposeful, well-                                                               
thought out and debated provision.  There was an amendment during                                                               
the Alaska  Constitutional Convention to provide  for legislative                                                               
confirmation of the three attorney members.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. MEADE referred to the  document she provided to the committee                                                               
titled,  "Excerpted Minutes  of  Constitutional Convention."  She                                                               
said that this  describes the whole theory of  the Missouri Plan.                                                               
She read from the language titled  "Page 695", "The theory on the                                                               
lay members  on the confirmation,  they represent the  public and                                                               
they represent  the predominate  political thought."  She pointed                                                               
out that this is 50 percent of the members on the council.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. MEADE  continued. "The  theory on the  lawyer members  of the                                                               
council, they  represent the profession, they  represent the best                                                               
interests of the profession. They  represent a desire to have the                                                               
best judges  on the  benches." She emphasized  that this  was not                                                               
accidental.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
She turned  to a  statement by Mr.  McLaughlin found  above "Page                                                               
695," and  read: "The whole theory  of the Missouri Plan  is that                                                               
in substance,  a select and  professional group, licensed  by the                                                               
state, can best determine the  qualifications of their brothers."                                                               
She  explained that  this does  not give  lawyers any  elitist or                                                               
special population a say that  seems unfounded. She characterized                                                               
it as  being the  same as  acknowledging that  if you  need heart                                                               
surgery  you  might ask  other  doctors  who  is the  best  heart                                                               
surgeon. It does  not mean that it  is put to a  popular vote but                                                               
rather to contact the people who  know their "brethren" as it was                                                               
stated at  the time  of the  constitutional convention.  They are                                                               
best able to  determine which lawyers are the ones  at the top of                                                               
their field.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
She continued and read a portion of the following:                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     The intent  of the  Missouri Plan  was in  substance to                                                                    
     give  a predominance  of the  vote to  professional men                                                                    
     who   know   the   foibles,   the   defects   and   the                                                                    
     qualifications of their  brothers. It is unquestionably                                                                    
     true that in  every trade and every  profession the men                                                                    
     who know their brother careerists  the best are the men                                                                    
     engaged in the same type of occupation.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
She emphasized that  it was not an accident and  it is not "willy                                                               
nilly"  that lawyers  get  to  choose the  three  lawyers on  the                                                               
commission. It  is very  purposeful, she  said. She  continued to                                                               
read excerpts of the minutes:                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     If you  require confirmation  of your  attorney members                                                                    
     you can  promptly see what  will happen.  The selection                                                                    
     is not then  made by the organized bar on  the basis of                                                                    
     a   man's   professional  qualifications   alone.   The                                                                    
     determination of the selection  of those people who are                                                                    
     on  the  judicial  council will  be  qualified  by  the                                                                    
     condition, are they acceptable to  a house and a senate                                                                    
     or a  senate alone, which is  essentially Democratic or                                                                    
     essentially  Republican.  No  longer  is  the  question                                                                    
     based  solely on  the qualification  ***Page 695***  of                                                                    
     the candidate for the bench.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. MEADE  remarked that requiring  confirmation of  the attorney                                                               
members  was  not  a  generalized  discussion  of  the  judiciary                                                               
article, which is what the consultants were talking about.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
She emphasized  the excerpt, "The  determination of  those people                                                               
who are  on the council will  be qualified by the  condition, are                                                               
they acceptable to a house and  a senate or a senate alone, which                                                               
is  essentially   Democratic  or  essentially   Republican."  She                                                               
remarked  that the  Alaska Court  System  absolutely agrees  with                                                               
this.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MEADE said  that these  thoughts from  1959 are  exactly the                                                               
thoughts  that  [the Alaska  Court  System]  currently has.  This                                                               
system has worked well for the last  50 or 60 years. There is not                                                               
any need to think that this  language that swayed the day in 1959                                                               
is any different now. The excerpt  goes on to read, "The question                                                               
is,  will those  people  whom  we set  up  here  on the  judicial                                                               
council, that  we send from the  bar, will they be  acceptable in                                                               
terms of political correctness?"                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
She  said that  [the  Alaska  Court System]  does  not want  that                                                               
question  coming into  play until  the very  end of  the judicial                                                               
selection process.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MEADE  asked  members  to  flip to  the  last  page  of  the                                                               
constitutional  convention   excerpted  minutes.  She   said  the                                                               
amendment overwhelmingly failed by a  vote of 4-49. The delegates                                                               
overwhelming voted  not to have  legislative confirmation  of the                                                               
attorney  members.  It  was  not   an  oversight,  but  was  very                                                               
purposeful, she said. She offered  her belief that those concerns                                                               
hold sway just  as well today and [the Alaska  Court System] does                                                               
not want the  qualifications removed or the merit base  to be de-                                                               
emphasized at all and add politics at that level.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:44:28 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. MEADE touched  on the votes [of the  Alaska Judicial Council]                                                               
to emphasize  the reason it is  not necessary to make  any change                                                               
[to  the  process  for selecting  council  members].  The  Alaska                                                               
constitutional  drafters  had the  benefit  of  [48] other  state                                                               
constitutions and  the benefit to  see what worked well  and what                                                               
did  not work  well. She  said at  least 12  other states  do not                                                               
require  legislative  confirmation  of  their  attorney  members.                                                               
Alaska is  not a "lone wolf"  in this area and  other states were                                                               
studied. The Constitution of the State  of Alaska is known as the                                                               
"gold standard" nationwide in the selection of judges.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
There is  a balance. Three  people are appointed by  the governor                                                               
and confirmed  by the  legislature. That  is the  peoples' voice,                                                               
she said.  Three lawyers, who  are also constituents  and regular                                                               
Alaskans  and citizens.  All  six people  serving  on the  Alaska                                                               
Judicial  Council  are  constituents.  The  chief  justice  votes                                                               
rarely, only when a tie occurs.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MEADE referred  to  a handout  in  members' packets  titled,                                                               
"Alaska  Judicial  Council  Vote Summaries,  1984-present."  This                                                               
shows that  this is a council  that works very well.  Since 1984,                                                               
which is  as far  back as  the data goes,  1,389 votes  have been                                                               
taken. She said that 82.5 percent  of the votes were unanimous or                                                               
5-1. She  characterized that as a  well-functioning organization.                                                               
She offered  her belief  that this  could be  said of  many other                                                               
organizations  in this  state. During  this  35-year period,  the                                                               
chief justice has  voted 75 of 1,389 times. Of  the 75 votes, the                                                               
chief  justice  voted  57  times  to  forward  the  name  to  the                                                               
governor. She said that most ties  were a mix of attorney members                                                               
and public members. In one percent  of the time, 19 times between                                                               
1984 to the  present were the attorneys  and non-attorneys split.                                                               
She  emphasized that  this does  not demonstrate  a dysfunctional                                                               
organization  or  an  organization  in which  the  attorneys  are                                                               
bullying  the   public  members.   This  group  gets   along  and                                                               
cooperates well,  she said. She said  that in 8 of  19 times, the                                                               
chief justice voted  with the non-attorneys and  the remaining 11                                                               
times   with  the   attorneys.   She  characterized   it  as   an                                                               
inconsequential  difference. She  said that  there cannot  be any                                                               
conclusion that the chief justice  votes with the attorneys every                                                               
time. It is not borne out by  the data; however, it does not show                                                               
an organization with problems or needs to be adjusted.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:47:41 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. MEADE said  she wanted to address something that  is a little                                                               
difficult to broach.  She said she thinks that it  is fair to say                                                               
that  there is  a thought  that  changes to  the Alaska  Judicial                                                               
Council is needed  because there is a sense  that Alaska's judges                                                               
are not conservative enough. There's  a sense that the judges are                                                               
over-empowered or  exercising judicial  activism from  the bench.                                                               
She said  that the Constitution  of the  State of Alaska  is like                                                               
every  other  constitution in  every  other  state and  the  U.S.                                                               
Constitution  does have  checks  and balances.  One  of the  main                                                               
checks and balances  for the legislature is  that the legislature                                                               
can  in every  session  overrule  an opinion  of  the court.  The                                                               
legislature does  this by changing  the statute.  The legislature                                                               
will state  in its legislative  intent the whole purpose  of this                                                               
bill is  to change the  decision of  the Alaska Supreme  Court or                                                               
the Court of  Appeals. The legislature can do so  up to the point                                                               
of a  constitutional determination. In our  system of government,                                                               
someone must have  the last say as to what  is constitutional and                                                               
it  is  the  Alaska  Supreme  Court.  She  acknowledged  that  it                                                               
sometimes frustrates the legislature because  it passes a bill or                                                               
resolution  it believes  passes  constitutional  muster, and  the                                                               
Alaska  Supreme Court  decides otherwise.  She said  that if  the                                                               
Alaska  Supreme Court  or  the  Court of  Appeals  says that  its                                                               
interpretation is "X," the next  session the legislature can pass                                                               
a statute to change the law to  "Y," based on policy. She said it                                                               
frequently  occurs  and  it  represents  a  big  "check"  on  the                                                               
opinions from the Alaska Court System.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:49:25 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  MEADE addressed  the concern  and  sense that  conservatives                                                               
cannot  become   judges.  She  said   that  of  the   73  judges,                                                               
approximately  42  percent  were  prosecutors,  33  percent  were                                                               
public  defenders   at  some  point   in  their   careers.  These                                                               
applicants  have  been  business attorneys  and  public  interest                                                               
attorneys; and she did not think  that it is a fair assessment to                                                               
say that it  has been hard for certain people  to get through the                                                               
Alaska Judicial  Council because  of their politics.  Some judges                                                               
have  attended   military  schools,  Christian   schools,  public                                                               
universities,  and private  universities.  They  fish, they  fly,                                                               
they are in  Boy Scouts, and they are involved  in athletics. She                                                               
offered her  belief that a unified  liberal bench is a  myth. She                                                               
said if anyone thinks it is  otherwise, to point to something and                                                               
she  is  willing  to  hold  a  discussion  and  would  need  hard                                                               
evidence. She  said that  Alaska's judges  are ranked  during the                                                               
retention cycle  by all the jurors  who appear in front  of them.                                                               
They  receive   a  score  based  on   performance,  impartiality,                                                               
temperament,  fairness,  integrity,  diligence and  overall.  The                                                               
performance  score for  Alaska's  judges  is 4.9  out  of 5.  She                                                               
pointed out  that constituents are the  ones who sit in  front of                                                               
the judges for  hours and days. She said that  the peace officers                                                               
and  probation  officers overall  ranking  of  is  4.5 of  5.  In                                                               
closing, she  stated that Alaska  does not have a  broken system.                                                               
She noted that the performance rating is statewide.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:51:47 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES  asked for the  dates of  the 21 instances  when the                                                               
chief justice acted  as a tiebreaker, in terms of  years in which                                                               
those occurred  so the committee can  see the trend and  if it is                                                               
evenly spread.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. MEADE  said that  there have  not been any  in the  last four                                                               
years. She offered to research and provide it to the committee.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:52:18 PM                                                                                                                    
SUSANNE  DIPIETRO, Executive  Director, Alaska  Judicial Council,                                                               
Anchorage,  reviewed the  Alaska  Judicial Council's  procedures,                                                               
purposes, and  goals. She  said she has  some information  on how                                                               
Alaska's judicial merit system fits  in with the national system.                                                               
She directed  attention to the Alaska  Judicial Council's bylaws.                                                               
She said  the Alaska Judicial  Council evaluates people  who want                                                               
to  be  judges  by  considering  their  professional  competence,                                                               
including  written  and  oral  communication  skills,  integrity,                                                               
fairness,  temperament, judgment,  including common  sense, legal                                                               
experience,  life  experience,  and  demonstrated  commitment  to                                                               
public and  community service. These  are the qualities  that the                                                               
council members are evaluating in the applicants.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
She said that  the council has published  very detailed selection                                                               
procedures, which are  found on its website and  published in its                                                               
annual  report.   The  Alaska   Judicial  Council   provides  the                                                               
legislature  with its  biennial report.  She emphasized  that the                                                               
council is  prohibited from considering applicants'  political or                                                               
religious beliefs.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS.  DIPIETRO  said  that  the  council  is  very  proud  of  its                                                               
transparent judicial selection process.  Its bylaws are available                                                               
in  written form  and are  posted on  its website.  She said  the                                                               
council has  approximately 15 pages of  detailed procedures about                                                               
how the  council evaluates  people who want  to be  judges, which                                                               
includes an  important public  component of  the process.  At any                                                               
point in  a judicial selection  process, a citizen can  provide a                                                               
written  letter   to  the  Alaska  Judicial   Council  about  any                                                               
applicant, or with  any opinion or suggestion on  how the council                                                               
should  be   doing  its   job.  She  said   that  all   of  these                                                               
communications go  to the council members  for consideration. She                                                               
said that in  a formal sense, the council holds  a public hearing                                                               
for  every vacancy  in  the  community where  the  judge will  be                                                               
seated. The  council has been  very gratified, in  particular, in                                                               
rural areas to have standing  room only attendance. She said that                                                               
people identify  who they  believe are  the good  applicants, and                                                               
even more  importantly, identify challenges in  the community for                                                               
the council to assist them in the selection process.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:55:40 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. DIPIETRO  discussed how  the council  fits into  the national                                                               
perspective.  She said  she welcomed  the opportunity  to have  a                                                               
dialogue  with the  sponsor's office.  She said  that the  Alaska                                                               
Judicial  Council's  staff  tracks   what  is  happening  in  the                                                               
national scene in terms of  judicial selection. She said that her                                                               
data  does not  support  the  statement that  only  a handful  of                                                               
states  do  not  require  legislative  confirmation  of  attorney                                                               
members. In fact,  her tally shows that 35 states  use a judicial                                                               
nominating commission  in some  way to  select state  judges. The                                                               
states all use  very different processes. She said that  in 18 of                                                               
the 35, the bar association  appoints the attorney members of the                                                               
commission with  no further  involvement by  the governor  or the                                                               
legislature.   In  several   jurisdictions,  several   seats  are                                                               
reserved  for legislative  appointment. She  said that  she found                                                               
only two  states in which  the legislature actually  must confirm                                                               
an attorney member  of a judicial nominating  commission She said                                                               
that her research  indicates it is an extreme  minority. She said                                                               
that  the  most  common  template  for  the  judicial  nominating                                                               
commissions  is  very similar  to  the  one  used by  the  Alaska                                                               
Judicial Council.  She said  that a roughly  equal number  of the                                                               
non-attorney and  attorney members  are appointed. She  said that                                                               
usually the  attorney members  are appointed by  the bar  with no                                                               
further  involvement  of  confirmation  by the  governor  or  the                                                               
legislature. The  non-attorney members are selected  by a variety                                                               
of  methods,  sometimes  by gubernatorial  appointment  or  other                                                               
ways.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:58:38 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES  asked her  to provide her  chart to  the committee.                                                               
She  further  asked  if  she would  provide  the  composition  of                                                               
attorney and non-attorney members for the other states.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
[SJR 3 was held in committee.]                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
^CONFIRMATION HEARING                                                                                                           
                      CONFIRMATION HEARING                                                                                  
             Alaska Commission on Judicial Conduct                                                                          
                                                                                                                              
2:59:12 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES announced  that the next order of  business would be                                                               
the  confirmation hearing  for Jane  Mores, Alaska  Commission on                                                               
Judicial Conduct                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:59:24 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES informed members that  Jane Mores is her sister. She                                                               
turned the gavel over to Senator Micciche.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:00:02 PM                                                                                                                    
At-ease.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:00:31 PM                                                                                                                    
ACTING CHAIR  MICCICHE reconvened the  meeting and turned  to the                                                               
confirmation  hearing.  He said  that  the  Alaska Commission  on                                                               
Judicial Conduct was created by  an amendment to the Constitution                                                               
of the  State of Alaska in  1968. The commission is  comprised of                                                               
three state court judges, three  attorneys who have practiced law                                                               
in the  state for  at least  10 years, and  three members  of the                                                               
public.  This group  of nine  members from  differing backgrounds                                                               
and geographical  areas address problems of  judicial conduct and                                                               
disability. Complaints alleging judicial  misconduct can be filed                                                               
by any person.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:01:25 PM                                                                                                                    
JANE MORES,  Appointee, Commission  on Judicial  Conduct, Juneau,                                                               
said that she  is the governor's appointee to  an attorneys' seat                                                               
on the Commission on Judicial Conduct.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:01:55 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  MORES provided  her personal  and professional  history. She                                                               
said she  and her  husband, Peter,  are semi-empty  nesters, with                                                               
five adult sons/stepsons.  Their last two are in  college, one in                                                               
his first year  at the University of Alaska Southeast  and one is                                                               
finishing his second year at a community college in Oregon.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
She  moved  to Alaska  from  Ohio  with  her  family as  a  young                                                               
teenager in 1976.  Her family joined a  Christian community about                                                               
10 miles  outside of Hoonah,  known as Mount Bether  Bible Center                                                               
at Game  Creek, Inc.  where she  lived for the  next seven  and a                                                               
half  years. Navigating  those years  in  a close-knit  community                                                               
taught her  a lot about hard  work and human nature.  She learned                                                               
life lessons that  she will always hold very close  to her heart.                                                               
She  does   not  milk  cows,   bridle  horses,  chop   wood,  can                                                               
cauliflower,  dry greens,  dig clams,  cheek halibut,  pitch hay,                                                               
hand-crank  a  tractor, or  hand  weed  endless rows  of  carrots                                                               
anymore. She  said she likes  to think  that she gained  from her                                                               
years at Game  Creek a work ethic, critical  thinking skills, and                                                               
a personal  and professional code  of conduct that  helped define                                                               
who she is today.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. MORES  said in her early  20s she went from  Southeast Alaska                                                               
to  the  Southeastern  U.S. where  she  obtained  her  bachelor's                                                               
degree from  Auburn University in  secondary education.  Having a                                                               
classmate named Bo  Jackson is one of her Auburn  stories. Bo was                                                               
the 1985  Heisman trophy winner and  she did attend a  class with                                                               
him. After a brief teaching  stint in rural Alabama, she received                                                               
her law  degree from Ohio  State and  was admitted to  the Alaska                                                               
Bar in 1990                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
She provided  her work  history, relating  that since  that time,                                                               
she has  represented individuals and business  clients, large and                                                               
small, first for a private firm  in Anchorage. She then worked as                                                               
a sole practitioner in private  practice, followed by working for                                                               
the City and Borough of Juneau  (CBJ). She said that she provided                                                               
an  array of  services to  the  CBJ, the  CBJ Assembly,  Bartlett                                                               
Hospital Board, the Bid Review  Board, and Board of Equalization.                                                               
Through her  municipal work she also  conducted specialized board                                                               
trainings  on conflicts  of  interest and  worked  in the  quasi-                                                               
judicial  role  of  certain  boards.  She  explained  the  quasi-                                                               
judicial  role is  that of  being a  fair and  impartial tribunal                                                               
vested with  authority to make  decisions under  applicable rules                                                               
of law,  much like a  judge. Prior to  that time, she  served for                                                               
six years  on the Alaska  Bar Association Ethics  Committee. This                                                               
committee  is  responsible  for researching  and  writing  ethics                                                               
opinion  at  the request  of  bar  counsel  and/or the  Board  of                                                               
Governors.  She   expressed  her  interest  in   serving  on  the                                                               
commission.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:05:19 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  MORES  quoted  from  the  preamble of  the  Alaska  Code  of                                                               
Judicial Conduct                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     The  role  of  the  judiciary is  central  to  American                                                                    
     concepts of justice and the  rule of law. [Intrinsic to                                                                    
     all  Sections  of  this Code  are  the  precepts  that]                                                                    
     judges,  individually  and collectively,  must  respect                                                                    
     and honor  the judicial  office as  a public  trust and                                                                    
     strive to enhance and maintain  confidence in our legal                                                                    
     system. The judge  is [an arbiter of facts  and law for                                                                    
     the  resolution  of  disputes  and]  a  highly  visible                                                                    
     symbol of government under the rule of law.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
She said  that public trust  and confidence in  Alaska's judicial                                                               
system is  essential to the  effectiveness of the  system. Public                                                               
trust is  not built  on blind  trust, but it  must be  earned and                                                               
maintained  through  public  accountability.  We  all  know  that                                                               
judges have  significant authority  and make decisions  every day                                                               
that change lives and have  far-reaching impacts. Those entrusted                                                               
with such  positions must not  only be  competent in the  law but                                                               
must conduct themselves  in and out of the courtroom  in a manner                                                               
that  upholds the  integrity  of  the office.  As  you know,  the                                                               
Judicial  Conduct  Commission is  tasked  with  the oversight  of                                                               
judicial  conduct  through  a  fair  and  impartial  deliberative                                                               
review  process  that  investigates and  appropriately  addresses                                                               
complaints of judicial misconduct  and disability. This oversight                                                               
protects the  public and maintains  public trust. As a  member of                                                               
the  legal  community,  both  of   these  things  are  especially                                                               
important to her. She also  respects the constitutional makeup of                                                               
the  commission, who  consist of  public  citizen members,  judge                                                               
members, and attorney members. She  said that in carrying out her                                                               
commission responsibilities,  every voice and perspective  on the                                                               
commission will  be of  equal import  to her.  She said  that she                                                               
thinks  anyone who  knows  her  would vouch  for  that fact.  She                                                               
offered her commitment on that  aspect. She acknowledged that she                                                               
is very  honored at this  appointment and committed  to undertake                                                               
her duties to  the best of her  ability. She gave a  shout out to                                                               
her   colleague,   Lael   Harrison,   for   her   integrity   and                                                               
professionalism  as  having  been  appointed  to  serve  on  this                                                               
commission  by   the  prior   administration.  She   thanked  the                                                               
committee for their  attention and for their hard  work on behalf                                                               
of Alaskans.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:08:14 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  KIEHL   said  that   he  has   worked  with   Ms.  Mores                                                               
professionally for several years when  she served in the capacity                                                               
as Deputy City Attorney and he  served on the City and Borough of                                                               
Juneau Assembly.  He worked with  her on  a number of  issues and                                                               
once gave him  informal ethics advice. She has given  advice on a                                                               
significant  number of  legal  questions,  including advice  that                                                               
took him in a  direction he did not want to go.  He said that she                                                               
was  right.  He is  very  glad  she  has  been appointed  to  the                                                               
commission.  He offered  his endorsement  for her  appointment to                                                               
the Commission on Judicial Conduct.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:08:55 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGHES said that she is very proud of her.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:09:17 PM                                                                                                                    
ACTING  CHAIR  MICCICHE  reviewed  her  resume.  He  related  his                                                               
understanding that she received her  juris doctor from Ohio State                                                               
and took a job at Faulkner, Banfield, Doogan, and Holmes, P.C.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. MORES agreed that is correct.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
ACTING CHAIR  MICCICHE asked whether  she worked in the  Lower 48                                                               
as a contract attorney for Bogle & Gates, P.L.L.C.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. MORES  stated that that  her ex-husband liked to  travel, and                                                               
she took a  part-time project job with Bogle &  Gates in Houston,                                                               
Texas.  She said  it  was  a temporary  position  on complex  tax                                                               
litigation.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ACTING CHAIR MICCICHE asked for  further clarification that since                                                               
1990 she has worked in Alaska  in the legal community. He related                                                               
his understanding that  she has well over the ten  years of legal                                                               
practice in Alaska required for the position.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. MORES answered that she has practiced law for 29 years.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ACTING CHAIR MICCICHE  asked the record to reflect  that he knows                                                               
Ms. Mores and her husband.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:10:52 PM                                                                                                                    
ACTING  CHAIR   MICCICHE  stated  that  in   accordance  with  AS                                                               
39.05.080, the  Senate Judiciary Standing Committee  has reviewed                                                               
the following and  recommends the appointments be  forwarded to a                                                               
joint session for consideration:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Commission on Judicial Conduct                                                                                                
Jane S. Mores - Juneau                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Signing  the   reports  regarding  appointments  to   boards  and                                                               
commissions in  no way reflects  individual members'  approval or                                                               
disapproval  of  the  appointees;   the  nominations  are  merely                                                               
forwarded to the full legislature for confirmation or rejection.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:11:15 PM                                                                                                                    
At-ease.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:11:41 PM                                                                                                                    
ACTING CHAIR  MICCICHE reconvened  the meeting. He  opened public                                                               
testimony, and after first determining  no one wished to testify,                                                               
closed public testimony  on the confirmation hearing  for Jane S.                                                               
Mores.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:12:01 PM                                                                                                                    
ACTING  CHAIR MICCICHE  reconvened the  meeting. He  restated the                                                               
motion,  that  in  accordance  with   AS  39.05.080,  the  Senate                                                               
Judiciary  Standing  Committee  has reviewed  the  following  and                                                               
recommends the appointments  be forwarded to a  joint session for                                                               
consideration:                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Commission on Judicial Conduct                                                                                                
Jane S. Mores - Juneau                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Signing  the   reports  regarding  appointments  to   boards  and                                                               
commissions in  no way reflects  individual members'  approval or                                                               
disapproval  of  the  appointees;   the  nominations  are  merely                                                               
forwarded to the full legislature for confirmation or rejection.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:12:32 PM                                                                                                                    
At-ease.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:13:21 PM                                                                                                                    
ACTING  CHAIR MICCICHE  reconvened  the meeting.  There being  no                                                               
further  business  to come  before  the  committee, Acting  Chair                                                               
Micciche  adjourned  the   Senate  Judiciary  Standing  Committee                                                               
meeting at 3:13 p.m.                                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SJR 3 Version A.PDF SJUD 4/12/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJUD 4/15/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJUD 4/17/2019 6:00:00 PM
SJUD 4/19/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJUD 4/22/2019 6:00:00 PM
SJR 3
SJR 3 - Sponsor Statement.pdf SJUD 4/12/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJUD 4/15/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJUD 4/17/2019 6:00:00 PM
SJUD 4/19/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJUD 4/22/2019 6:00:00 PM
SJR 3
SJR3 Fiscal Note.pdf SJUD 4/12/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJUD 4/15/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJUD 4/17/2019 6:00:00 PM
SJUD 4/19/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJR 3
SJR 3 - Historical Roster of AJC members.pdf SJUD 4/12/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJR 3
SJR 3 - AJC Att -Non Att vote splits - highlighted.pdf SJUD 4/12/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJUD 4/15/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJR 3
SJR 3 - Constitutional Convention Minutues about Judiciary_AJC.pdf SJUD 4/12/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJUD 4/15/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJR 3
SJR 3 - AJC_Court System members and votes info.pdf SJUD 4/12/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJUD 4/15/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJR 3
SJR 3 - Historical Roster of AJC members.pdf SJUD 4/12/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJUD 4/15/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJR 3
SJR 3 - Vic Fisher Constitution book exerpts.pdf SJUD 4/12/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJUD 4/15/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJR 3
SJR 3 Opposition AFL-CIO.pdf SJUD 4/12/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJUD 4/15/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJR 3
SJR 3 Opposition Former Attorney General.pdf SJUD 4/12/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJUD 4/15/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJR 3
SJR 3 Opposition Justice not Politics.pdf SJUD 4/12/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJUD 4/15/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJR 3
SJR 3 Opposition Resolution AFN.pdf SJUD 4/12/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJUD 4/15/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJR 3
JUD Judicial Conduct Mores Resume.pdf SJUD 4/12/2019 1:30:00 PM