Below is a statement from Democratic gubernatorial candidate Byron Mallott in reaction to House Judiciary Committee action of HJR 33 to change the composition of the Alaska Judicial Council.
“Alaska’s judiciary is under attack and Alaskans need to rally to its defense. Our judiciary is universally regarded as one of the finest in the nation. That is because of the selection process our founders established in the state constitution—that the governor appoint a judge from among candidates recommended by a seven member panel that consists of three lawyers, three lay citizens and the chief justice of the Alaska Supreme Court. Now some politicians want to fundamentally alter the make-up of the judicial council to reshape the judiciary into an ideological rubber stamp of government actions. They also seek to impose insurmountable barriers to lawsuits filed by citizens against corporate interests. We cannot allow them to take away the judiciary’s independence or weaken its power to protect the public.”