Susan Carney to replace Justice Fabe on the AK Supreme Court

Susan Carney will be the next Supreme Court Justice following Justice Dana Fabe’s retirement. Governor Bill Walker announced his appointment Thursday afternoon in Anchorage.

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Governor Walker and newly appointed Justice Susan Carney (Photo by Wesley Early, APRN - Anchorage)
Governor Walker and newly appointed Justice Susan Carney (Photo by Wesley Early, APRN – Anchorage)

Carney has a long tenure as a defense attorney with the office of public advocacy in Fairbanks. She is the third woman to be appointed the state’s highest court.

Before her Ninth Circuit Court appointment, Justice Morgan Christen served in addition to Fabe. Despite never serving as a judge before, Walker said she’s ready.

“There’s a number of justices who’ve moved right from practice to being on the Supreme Court, so it’s certainly not unprecedented,” Walker said. “You take everything into consideration, and I’m sure the judicial council took everything into consideration as well. And again all four came with a unanimous endorsement from the council which I think is a little unprecedented.”

Walker says one of the reasons for his selection of Carney was her experience in dealing with rural Alaska cases. Carney talked about working with the Office of Children Services.

Governor Walker, Justice Susan Carney from Faibanks, and Supreme Justice Dana Fabe from Anchorage. Fabe will be retiring June 1st. (Photo by Wesley Early, APRN - Anchorage)
Governor Walker, Justice Susan Carney from Fairbanks, and Justice Dana Fabe from Anchorage. Fabe will be retiring June 1st. (Photo by Wesley Early, APRN – Anchorage)

“I was in Eagle last month,” Carney said. “I flew out on a very small plane with one of the OCS social workers to meet with a family that had been involved in a child protection case for a long time. And now they’ve resolved it. So the kids are home. The parents are doing better.”

Carney says although she will be serving all of Alaska in her tenure as Justice, she will still live in Fairbanks. Carney will take her position as Justice shortly after Justice Fabe’s retirement on June 1st.

CORRECTION: An earlier post had said that Carney was the second woman to serve in the Alaska Supreme Court as a Justice. She’s actually the third. Morgan Christen was the second.

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Wesley Early covers municipal politics and Anchorage life for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at wearly@alaskapublic.org.

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