Dunleavy fills second Palmer court seat after delay

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – Gov. Mike Dunleavy has filled a second Palmer Superior Court judgeship, weeks after the deadline to make such a pick.

He announced Wednesday his selection of private practice attorney Kristen Stohler.

Last month, Dunleavy made one appointment to the court but refused to make a second. He cited questions with the nomination process.

He relented after meeting with Alaska Supreme Court Justice Joel Bolger. Bolger previously said framers of Alaska’s Constitution intended for a governor to appoint for judgeships candidates nominated by the Alaska Judicial Council.

Dunleavy said the meeting provided “important clarification” on the process.

State law calls for a governor to fill a superior court vacancy or appoint a successor for an impending vacancy within 45 days after receiving nominations from the council. The period ended last month.

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