About Us

JUSTICE NOT POLITICS ALASKA is a nonpartisan group of Alaskans concerned about recent efforts to amend the Judiciary Article of Alaska’s Constitution in a manner that would increase the influence of politics in our state’s judicial selection and retention processes. In our view, the Judiciary Article (Article IV) is one of the jewels of our constitution and the principal reason that Alaska has had a long history of judicial excellence.  Under its provisions, the independent Alaska Judicial Council evaluates applicants for judgeships and nominates the most highly qualified applicants to the Governor, who makes the final appointment. Once appointed, judges periodically stand for retention during general elections, and the council evaluates their performance and makes recommendations to voters on whether they should be retained.

Our system of merit selection and voter retention has given Alaskans one of the most competent and accountable judiciaries in the world. It has ensured that our judges are chosen for their legal ability, integrity, fairness and judicial temperament, not their political views or affiliations. And it has helped guarantee that judicial decisions are made according to the rule of law, not popular or political pressures or influences that have no place in a justice system dedicated to fairness and impartiality.

We believe recent attempts to amend the Judiciary Article represent bad public policy and should be resisted by all informed citizens of Alaska. The system we have is not broken, has served us well, and should be preserved.

Who we are

We are a group of individuals from varied professions and backgrounds who have come together to support a fair judicial selection and retention system.

Walter (Bud) Carpeneti

Walter (Bud) Carpeneti

Board Vice-President, Juneau

Alaska Chief Justice
2009-2013
Alaska Supreme Court Justice
1998-2013
Juneau Superior Court Judge
1982-1998

"I was a lawyer for forty years and a judge for over thirty. But I’ve been a basketball fan all my life. In court rooms as on the basketball court, Alaskans expect fair play. Judges who honor the duty to be fair and impartial should not face political attack for doing their jobs."

Bill Gordon

Bill Gordon

Board President, Fairbanks

Former Non-Attorney Member, Alaska Judicial Council
2003-2009
Public Member, Alaska Bar Association
2012-Present

"For forty years I have participated as a non attorney in a variety of positions that affect our state‘s judicial selection process. I served a six year term as a non attorney member of the Judicial Council where I participated in the nomination of new judges and worked through the thorough judicial evaluation and retention recommendation process. Through my experience in all facets of selection, evaluation and retention, I am convinced Alaska’s judicial merit selection system is the best in the nation."

David L. Landry

David L. Landry

Board Secretary-Treasurer, Anchorage

Business owner, construction company

"Well managed, fair and impartial courts are important infrastructure for the business community. As a business owner, I support Alaska‘s current judicial selection system for it’s long track record of providing us with a competent, clean, non-political judiciary."

Nicole Borromeo

Nicole Borromeo

Director, Anchorage

General Counsel,
Alaska Federation of Natives

We must guard against special interest groups and outside influences that seek to bend our merit-based judicial selection and retention process to their will. Political leaning and personal feelings have no place on the bench. Lady Justice must remain blindfolded if we are to achieve equal protection under law.

Paul Dillon

Paul Dillon

Director, Juneau

Retired Attorney,
Commercial Fisherman

Our times require an independent, highly qualified judiciary to preserve and protect our democratic way of life. Alaska’s system of judicial selection and retention has provided the State with an exceptional group of judges, past and present. There is no reason to change one of the most successful judicial selection and retention systems in the nation.

Heather Arnett

Heather Arnett

Executive Director, Anchorage

"The founders of Alaska‘s constitution created a judicial selection and retention system that includes a careful balance of professional peer and public input, as well as an exhaustive review of each judicial candidate’s individual qualifications. Our merit-based system has provided Alaskans with highly qualified, fair and impartial judges for 50+ years. Introducing an excessive amount of politics in to judicial selection allows for judges to be chosen based on political connections or specific ideologies. This will not serve Alaskans well and is why I am a part of Justice Not Politics Alaska."