The State of Alaska Constitution and laws mandate that when a justice or judge vacates a position, candidates for the judicial vacancy be evaluated and this information be provided to the Governor. The Alaska Judicial Council has been given the responsibility to conduct this evaluation of the qualifications of individuals who are applicants for judgeships, in preparation for their appointment by the Governor. As part of the information utilized to fulfill this responsibility, surveys (referred to as judicial selection surveys) of active members of the Alaska Bar Association are conducted by the Alaska Judicial Council. In these surveys, respondents are asked to rate candidates on the following characteristics: professional competence, integrity, fairness, judicial temperament, suitability of candidate's experience for the given vacancy, and overall rating for this position.
To facilitate the selection and retention surveys, the Alaska Judicial Council entered into a contract with the Alaska Comprehensive and Specialized Evaluation Services (ACSES) of the Behavioral Health Research and Services program, a research workgroup administratively housed in the College of Arts and Sciences, University of Alaska Anchorage. ACSES is responsible for receiving, entering, and analyzing the data from these surveys and preparing reports summarizing survey procedures and findings.