RETAIN | 6 - 0
Jennifer S. Henderson
Anchorage Superior Court | Third Judicial District
Judge Henderson was appointed to the Anchorage Superior Court in May of 2017. This is her first retention evaluation as a superior court judge. Judge Henderson handles primarily civil cases, and a smaller number of criminal cases on a special calendar.
After conducting its performance review, the Judicial Council determined that Judge Henderson met or exceeded performance standards on all criteria, including legal ability, integrity, impartiality/fairness, temperament, diligence, and administrative skills.
The Council also determined that Judge Henderson met or exceeded educational requirements set by the Alaska Supreme Court.
Because Judge Henderson met or exceeded all performance and professional development standards, the Alaska Judicial Council recommends a “yes” vote on retention in office.
The Council conducts a thorough performance review of each judge standing for retention. Key findings for Judge Henderson include:
- Ratings by justice system professionals: Attorneys, law enforcement officers, and social services professionals who appeared before Judge Henderson gave her very good reviews, as did court employees. The chart shows the survey ratings received by Judge Henderson.
- Ratings by jurors: Jurors who served in trials before Judge Henderson during 2018 and 2019 rated her 5.0 overall on a five-point scale. One juror commented, “Judge Henderson was wonderful. I appreciate how fair, patient, kind and knowledgeable [she was]. She kept us well-informed as the legal process.”
- Professional activities: The Council’s review of Judge Henderson’s professional activities showed significant contributions to her community and to the administration of justice. Judge Henderson managed a centralized calendar to process criminal cases involving defendants whose competency to stand trial was questioned. She also presided over a mental health therapeutic court, and served as a Training Judge for magistrate judges. She made presentations to community groups about the role of a judge and other topics.
- Other performance indicators: The Council’s review of other performance indicators, including Judge Henderson’s financial and conflict of interest statements, disqualifications from cases, and appellate reversal rates, raised no performance concerns.
- Timeliness: Alaska law requires judges’ pay be withheld if a decision is pending longer than six months. The Council verified that Judge Henderson was paid on schedule, and she certified that she had no untimely decisions.
- Ethics: There were no public disciplinary proceedings against Judge Henderson, and the Council’s review found no ethical concerns.
Judge Henderson’s Statements to the Public