Alaska News

Maassen to be next chief justice of Alaska Supreme Court

Peter Maassen has been selected as the Alaska Supreme Court’s next chief justice.

Maassen, who has served on the court since 2012, will assume the role when current Chief Justice Daniel Winfree turns 70 and retires in February. The Alaska Constitution mandates that judges retire at 70.

Justice Maassen was selected to take the role by a majority vote from his fellow Supreme Court justices, the Alaska Court System said in a statement Tuesday. Originally from Michigan, Maassen was an attorney in private practice in Anchorage from the early 1980s until he was appointed to the state’s highest court in 2012.

Alaska’s five-member Supreme Court is in the midst of a series of departures. In 2020, former Chief Justice Craig Stowers retired. He died this year. Former Chief Justice Joel Bolger retired in 2021. And after Winfree’s retirement next year, Maassen himself will reach the mandatory retirement age in January 2025.

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy has so far appointed two Supreme Court justices, Justice Jennifer Henderson and Justice Dario Borghesian.

The Alaska Judicial Council will hold a public meeting Dec. 5 about candidates for a seat on the court that will open when Winfree retires.


Michelle Theriault Boots

Michelle Theriault Boots is a longtime reporter for the Anchorage Daily News. She focuses on in-depth stories about the intersection of public policy and Alaskans' lives. Before joining the ADN in 2012, she worked at daily newspapers up and down the West Coast and earned a master's degree from the University of Oregon.