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Alaska's Senators Share Historic Day with Judicial Nominees

Murkowski, Begich Introduce First Two Alaskan Women Nominees to the Federal Bench

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a historic Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing today, Senators Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich today introduced and spoke to the qualifications of two Alaskan judicial nominees; Justice Morgan Christen nominee to the 9th Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals, and Judge Sharon Gleason, nominee to U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska.

Justice Morgan Christen has clerked in the Alaska Superior Court, practiced law in the private sector, and was appointed to the Alaska Superior Court in 2001.  In 2009, she was appointed to the Alaska Supreme Court in 2009, where she currently sits.  Judge Sharon Gleason began her legal career as a clerk in the Alaska Supreme Court, followed by a legal career in the private sector.  She was appointed to the Alaska Superior court in 2001, and was elevated to the role of Presiding Judge of the Third Judicial District in 2009.

"While it is historic whenever a judicial vacancy arises, today's hearing is especially historic because if confirmed, Morgan Christen and Sharon Gleason will be the first two Alaskan women to serve on the federal bench," Murkowski said.  "As a member of the Alaska Bar, and as the senior Senator from Alaska, let me say that the President could not have nominated two more qualified individuals to fill these seats."

"I was proud to recommend these two incredibly qualified and talented judges to President Obama for elevation to the federal bench," Begich said. "Both Morgan Christen and Sharon Gleason are among the best Alaska has to offer and their service on federal courts important to Alaskans will be historic and a tribute to the excellent legal professionals from our state."

The nominations of Justice Christen and Judge Gleason must still be voted on by the Judiciary Committee, and confirmed before the full Senate body.

To view Sens. Murkowski and Begich's introductions of Judges Christen and Gleason to the Senate Judiciary Committee click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNElTQK_PdU

Justice Christen takes questions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjVd7Xlp93E

Judge Gleason answers questions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seUP_pSTjck

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