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Alaska bill would change judicial selection system

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A proposed bill would upend Alaska’s longstanding system for choosing judges by allowing the governor to make direct appointments to two levels of the state’s judiciary. The Anchorage Daily News reported the bill introduced by Republican Sen. Mike Shower is part of an effort by conservatives to reshape the state’s judicial selection system. Under Alaska’s system, the governor must nominate judges from a list of qualified applicants submitted by the Alaska Judicial Council. Conservatives assert the selection system grants too much power to unelected attorneys. Opponents argue the bill would turn judgeships into political patronage appointments.

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