Christen Named to Alaska Supreme Court
Governor Palin Names Christen to Alaska Supreme Court
March 4, 2009, Juneau, Alaska – Governor Sarah Palin selected Anchorage
Superior Court Judge Morgan Christen to the Alaska Supreme Court.
Christen is the 20th justice appointed to the Court.
"Alaska's Supreme Court bears the awesome responsibility of
ensuring that our court system administers justice in firm accordance
with the principles laid down in our state Constitution," said Governor
Palin. "I have every confidence that Judge Christen has the experience,
intellect, wisdom and character to be an outstanding Supreme Court
Christen, 47, was born in Chehalis, Washington. After
attending colleges in England, Switzerland, and the People's Republic
of China, she received a bachelor's degree in international studies
from the University of Washington in 1983, and a law degree from Golden
Gate University School of Law in San Francisco, California, in 1986.
Christen worked as a law clerk to Anchorage Superior Court
Justice Brian Shortell from 1986-87, then joined Preston, Gates &
Ellis in 1987, becoming a partner in 1992. She was appointed as an
Anchorage Superior Court justice in 2002, and has been presiding judge
Christen currently serves on the boards of the Alaska
Community Foundation and the Rasmuson Foundation, and previously served
on the boards of the United Way of Anchorage, and of Big Brothers/Big
Sisters. A past president of Anchorage Association of Women Lawyers,
she has also won the Anchorage Chamber's Light of Hope award for
helping Alaska children in 2004, and won the Anchorage Chamber's Athena
Society Award in 2006. She has been a member of the Downtown Anchorage
Rotary Club since 1992.
The Alaska Supreme Court serves as the ultimate court of
appeals for the state's District and Superior Courts. The chief justice
and four associate justices hear cases in Anchorage on a monthly basis
and in Fairbanks and Juneau on a quarterly basis. The court also
administers the state's judicial system.
Christen will replace Justice Warren Matthews, who has served
on the Supreme Court for 22 years, including six years as chief
justice, from 1987-1990 and again from 1997-2000. State law bars judges
from serving past 70, and Matthews will turn 70 on April 5.
"I am grateful to Justice Matthews for his long years of
service to the people of Alaska on the high court," Governor Palin
Under current judicial selection procedures, the Alaska
Judicial Council received applications from six Alaska attorneys,
winnowed the list to two names, and forwarded them to the governor.
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