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Begich Welcomes Appointment of Sharon Gleason to Federal Bench

Senator Recommends Alaska's First Female Federal Judge

Praising her as one of Alaska's smartest and fairest judges, U.S. Sen. Mark Begich today welcomed President Obama's nomination of Anchorage Superior Court Judge Sharon Gleason for a judgeship on the U.S. District Court for Alaska.

Gleason is being nominated to replace U.S. District Court Judge John Sedwick, who moved to senior status last month. Begich recommended Gleason to the White House after considering nearly two dozen Alaska lawyers who had applied for the federal court vacancy.

"Judge Gleason consistently receives the highest marks from her colleagues for her judicial temperament, her fairness on the bench and her pioneering work on behalf of families and children," Begich said. "During her 26 years as an Alaska lawyer, I've admired her promising career and public service."

Begich pointed out that Gleason will be Alaska's first female judge on the federal bench. Federal judges handle a diverse caseload of both federal civil and criminal cases. The appointment by the president, which requires confirmation by the U.S. Senate, is for life.

After earning her law degree at the University of California-Davis, Gleason became a member of the Alaska Bar in 1984. She worked in private practice until her appointment as an Alaska Superior Court judge in 2001 and then was promoted to presiding Superior Court judge for Alaska's largest judicial district in Anchorage in 2009. She is currently the only female Superior Court judge in Anchorage.

Begich also thanked Judge Sedwick for his 20 years of service on the federal bench. He was appointed by President George H. Bush in 1992 and will continue to handle a caseload as a senior judge.

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