Gleason appointed to federal court

By November 15, 2011Crime & Courts

Anchorage Superior Court Presiding Judge Sharon Gleason has been confirmed to the U.S. District Court in Alaska.

Gleason is the first Alaska woman to be confirmed to the federal bench.

She will replace U.S. District Court Judge John Sedwick, who is on senior status.  

President Obama nominated Gleason to the U.S. District Court last spring on the recommendation of U. S. Sen. Mark Begich.   

In speeches on the Senate floor before Tuesday’s confirmation vote, Begich and Sen. Lisa Murkowski cited the praise of other judges and Alaska attorneys who practice before her.

“Alaska judicial candidates are rated by their peers and Judge Gleason consistently receives among the highest marks possible,” Begich said.

Murkowski said Gleason “is and will continue to be a superb judge. She has tremendous control of her own demeanor so that she maintains control of the proceedings and as a result, parties almost universally leave a hearing feeling that she has understood them and thought carefully about her decision.”

The U.S. Senate confirmed two women to the federal judiciary on Tuesday — Gleason on a vote of 87 to 8, and Yvonne Gonzales Rogers to the Northern California District Court by 89 to 6. The votes against the women came from Murkowski’s Republican colleagues, including Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Gleason waited 224 days for her confirmation. Forty-five judicial nominees await Senate confirmation, among them Alaska Supreme Court Justice Morgan Christen. She was nominated to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on May 18th.

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