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First Alaska-born chief justice selected by members of the Alaska Supreme Court

First Alaska-born chief justice selected by members of the Alaska Supreme Court.
First Alaska-born chief justice selected by members of the Alaska Supreme Court.(Alaska Court System)
Updated: May. 7, 2021 at 5:53 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Alaska Court System has selected a new chief justice, according to a press release Thursday.

According to the Alaska Court System, Justice Daniel E. Winfree of Fairbanks will be the first Alaska-born chief justice and the second Fairbanks chief justice. He was selected unanimously by members of the Alaska Supreme Court. The court system said Justice Winfree will serve a three-year term with a number of responsibilities that include:

  • Being the administrative head of the judicial branch of government.
  • Presiding over Supreme Court arguments.
  • Appointing presiding judges for all judicial districts.
  • Servings as the chair of the Alaska Judicial Council.

Starting July 2021, Justice Winfree will serve as chief justice due to the retirement of current Chief Justice Joel H. Bolger, whose term is expected to expire June 30, 2021.

Justice Winfree most notably was a part of decisions involving Alaska’s highest court ruling in favor of the city of Fairbanks in a labor dispute with the city’s public safety union in June 2018 and the August 2018 ruling that said Salmon habitat initiative can appear on the ballot in November of that year.

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