JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The Alaska Supreme Court's chief justice says founders of the state's constitution intended for a governor to appoint for judgeships candidates nominated by the Alaska Judicial Council.

Chief Justice Joel Bolger, in recent remarks, defended the council's process for vetting and nominating candidates after Gov. Mike Dunleavy filled one vacancy on the Palmer Superior Court but refused to fill another.

One of the seats is vacant and the second is soon to be.

Dunleavy said he wouldn't select a second candidate from the list of three the council sent him, saying there were qualified applicants "inexplicably" not nominated.

Bolger said the council aims to nominate the most qualified. State law calls for superior court vacancies to be filled within 45 days of the governor receiving nominations. That period has passed.

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