Dana Fabe

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Dana Anderson Fabe
Court Information:
Alaska Supreme Court
Title:   Chief justice
Salary:  $199,000
Appointed by:   Gov. Tony Knowles
Active:   1996-2020
Chief:   2000-2003, 2006-2009, 2012-Present
Preceded by:   Daniel A. Moore
Past post:   Judge, Alaska Third District
Past term:   1988-1996
Past post 2:   Chief public defender, Alaska
Past term 2:   1981-1988
Personal History
Born:   1951
Undergraduate:   Cornell University, 1973
Law School:   Northeastern Law School, 1976

Dana Anderson Fabe is the chief justice of the five member Alaska Supreme Court. She was appointed to the court in 1996 by Governor Tony Knowles. Fabe first served as chief justice from 2000 to 2003. She began her second term as chief justice in July 2006 and served in that role until July of 2009.

Fabe is both the first woman to be appointed to Alaska's highest court, and the court's first female chief justice. She became the chief justice again in July 2012 when Justice Walter Carpeneti stepped down from the position. Justice Fabe was retained for another ten-year term in 2010. Her current term will expire in 2020.[1]


Fabe earned her undergraduate degree from Cornell University in 1973 and her Juris Doctor from Northeastern Law School in 1976.[1]

Professional career

Awards and associations


  • Member, National Advisory Council of the American Judicature Society
  • Member, Soroptimist International of Cook Inlet
  • Member, Cornell Club of Alaska
  • Trustee, Anchorage Museum Association
  • Chair, Alaska Supreme Court, Civil Rules Committee,
  • Chair, Alaska Supreme Court, Judicial Outreach Commission
  • Chair, Alaska Court System, Law Day Steering Committee
  • Chair, Alaska Teaching Justice Network
  • Co-chair, Alaska Bar Association, Gender Equality Section[1]



Alaska Supreme Court Justice Retention
2010 General election results
Candidates Votes Percent
For retention Green check mark transparent.png 100,003 53.2%
Against retention 87,843 46.8%
  • Click here for 2010 General Election Results from the Alaska Secretary of State.
Main article: Alaska Judges up for Retention Election in 2010
See also: Alaska judicial elections, 2010

During Fabe's 2010 election, she was opposed for retention by the private group CitizenLink, the public policy arm of the national Christian group Focus on the Family, weeks before the election. The group sought to have Alaskans vote against her retention. Fabe discussed this issue during the Evaluating Appellate Judges: Preserving Integrity, Maintaining Accountability conference (2011) Conference.[2]

Alaska Judicial Council

The Alaska Judicial Council recommended unanimously (5-0) that she be retained. The AJC conducted a survey of thousands of attorneys in Alaska, who rated Justice Fabe on ten categories. Overall, her rating was 4.3 on a scale of 5, where "5" means "excellent".

  • She scored highest (4.4) in the categories of "temperament," "integrity," and "diligence."
  • She scored 4.2 or better in all ten categories.

The AJC also surveyed court employees, who rated Fabe 4.6 on a scale of 5 on overall performance.[3]

Summary categories Attorney survey Court employee survey
Legal ability 4.4 -
Impartiality 4.2 4.5
Integrity 4.4 4.7
Temperament 4.6 4.8
Diligence 4.5 4.6
Overall 4.3 4.6

Notable cases

Alaska parent consent abortion law

In 2007 the Alaska Supreme Court ruled against a law requiring a parent to give consent before a teen could get an abortion. The opinion, authored by Dana Fabe, provided for a parental notification requirement that later became law when brought to the ballot in August of 2008. Fabe was also on the panel of justices that allowed the ballot measure to go to voters.[4]

Political ideology

See also: Political ideology of State Supreme Court Justices

In October 2012, political science professors Adam Bonica and Michael Woodruff of Stanford University attempted to determine the partisan ideology of state supreme court justices in their paper, State Supreme Court Ideology and 'New Style' Judicial Campaigns. A score above 0 indicated a more conservative leaning ideology while scores below 0 are more liberal. Fabe received a Campaign finance score (CFscore) of -0.87, indicating a liberal ideological leaning. This is more liberal than the average CF score of -0.11 that justices received in Alaska. The study is based on data from campaign contributions by judges themselves, the partisan leaning of contributors to the judges or, in the absence of elections, the ideology of the appointing body (governor or legislature). This study is not a definitive label of a justice, but an academic gauge of various factors.[5]

See also

External links


AlaskaAlaska Supreme CourtAlaska Court of AppealsAlaska Superior CourtAlaska District CourtNative American Tribal CourtsUnited States District Court for the District of AlaskaUnited States Court of Appeals for the Ninth CircuitAlaska countiesAlaska judicial newsAlaska judicial electionsJudicial selection in AlaskaAlaskaTemplatewithoutBankruptcy.jpg