Judge Sen Tan has announced that he will be stepping down from the bench.
In a brief letter sent yesterday, the Anchorage Superior Court judge informed Gov. Sean Parnell that his retirement would be effective on July 1. Tan did not give a specific reason for leaving his post or supply information on his future plans.
Tan has served as a superior court judge since 1997. Larry Cohn, who directs the Alaska Judicial Council, says Tan earned high marks through his career.
“Judge Tan has consistently received very high ratings from those who are most familiar with his professional work as a judge, including attorneys, and law enforcement officers, and court employees, and jurors,” says Cohn.
While Tan was respected in the legal world, a conservative advocacy group campaigned for his removal in 2012. Alaska Family Action urged voters to oppose Tan’s retention because of a ruling concerning abortion that he made in the late 1990s. Tan ultimately secured 55 percent of the vote.
Cohn doesn’t think that Tan’s retention should have been politicized.
“To those critics who are dissatisfied with the content of decisions he’s made, we strive to have impartial and fair judges and independent judges who follow the law. And the law is not necessarily popular.”
The Alaska Judicial Council will be taking applications for the judgeship through February. The group plans to provide its recommendations to the governor in June.
- During a brief layover Wednesday in Ketchikan on her way to Sitka, Alaska’s Sen. Lisa Murkowski talked about the state’s Republican primary campaign, and about the presidential election.
- More Alaskans are driving electric cars. The same is true for California, Oregon and Washington state. But many people continue to consider the vehicles as too small, difficult to use and no more than a novelty.
- Master Gardener Ed Buyarski reminds us to ventilate our greenhouse, harvest our garlic and raspberries, deadhead any finished flowers, and eradicate all slugs.
- AT&T's announced plans to upgrade the network by summer of 2016 have stalled. And people in Skagway have noticed, as they slog through another summer of cell phone problems.