Dunleavy will pick from three Anchorage judges, one attorney to fill Alaska’s open Supreme Court seat

Attorney Andrew Welle argues before the Alaska Supreme Court in October 2019. (Photo by Elizabeth Harball/Alaska’s Energy Desk)

The Alaska Judicial Council has winnowed eight applicants for a vacant state Supreme Court seat to four, and now it’s Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s turn to choose.

The candidates are three Anchorage Superior Court judges — Dani Crosby, Jennifer Stuart Henderson and Yvonne Lamoureux — and Dario Borghesan, who works as a chief assistant attorney general for the Alaska Department of Law in Anchorage. Dunleavy will make his first appointment to the five-member Supreme Court from those four candidates.

Eight attorneys had applied to fill the seat that will open when Justice Craig Stowers retires June 1. The Alaska Constitution requires the nonpartisan judicial council — which consists of three attorneys appointed by the Alaska Bar Association, three non-attorneys appointed by the governor, and the chief justice of the Supreme Court — to screen candidates and nominate at least two people to fill judicial vacancies, whom the governor must choose from.

Henderson earned the highest overall rating — 4.4 out of 5 — on a survey of Alaska Bar Association members.

Crosby was rated at 4.3, Borghesan at 4.2 and Lamoureux at 4.1. The council passed over Palmer Superior Court Judge Jonathan Woodman, who scored 4.3, and Margaret Paton Walsh, a chief assistant attorney general in Anchorage, who scored 4.2.