United States District Court for the District of Alaska
- 1 Vacancy warning level
- 2 Active judges
- 3 Jurisdiction
- 4 Caseloads
- 5 Notable cases
- 6 History
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
- 9 References
The United States District Court for the District of Alaskais one of ninety-four United States district courts. The district operates out of courthouses in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, Ketchikan and Nome, Alaska. When decisions of the court are appealed, they are appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals based in downtown San Francisco at the James R. Browning Federal Courthouse.
Vacancy warning level
There are no pending nominations for the United States District Court for the District of Alaska.
Article III judges
|Chief Judge Ralph Beistline||1948||Fairbanks, AK||W. Bush||3/19/2002 - Present||2009 - Present||Russel Holland||University of Alaska, B.A., 1972||University of Puget Sound School of Law, J.D., 1974|
|Judge Timothy Burgess||1956||San Francisco, CA||W. Bush||1/23/2006 - Present||James Singleton||University of Alaska, B.A., 1978||Northeastern U. Law School, J.D., 1987|
|Judge Sharon L. Gleason||1957||Rochester, NY||Obama||11/15/2011 - Present||John Sedwick||Washington U., St. Louis, B.A., 1979||University of California, Davis Law, J.D., 1983|
Active Article III judges by appointing political party
This graph displays the percent of active judges by the party of the appointing president and does not reflect how a judge may rule on specific cases or their own political preferences.
|Senior Judge John Sedwick||H.W. Bush||10/9/1992-3/13/2011||2002-2009||3/13/2011-Present||Dartmouth College, 1968||Harvard Law School, 1972|
|Senior Judge James Singleton||H.W. Bush||5/14/1990 - 1/27/2005||1995 - 2002||1/27/2005 - Present||University of California, Berkeley, A.B., 1961||University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law, LL.B., 1964|
|Senior Judge Russel Holland||Reagan||7/16/1984 - 9/18/2001||1989 - 1995||9/18/2001 - Present||University of Michigan, B.B.A., 1958||University of Michigan Law School, LL.B., 1961|
|Senior Judge James von der Heydt||L.B. Johnson||11/3/1966 - 7/15/1984||1973 - 1984||7/15/1984 - Present||Albion College, B.A., 1942||Northwestern U. School of Law, J.D., 1951|
Senior judges by appointing political party
This graph displays the percent of senior judges by the party of the appointing president and does not reflect how a judge may rule on specific cases or their own political preferences.
|Magistrate Judge Scott A. Oravec||2/20/2009-Present|
|Magistrate Judge Leslie Longenbaugh||7/10/2008-Present||Vassar College||University of California, Hastings College of Law|
|Magistrate Judge Kevin F. McCoy||5/9/2014-Present|
The District of Alaska has original jurisdiction over cases filed within its jurisdiction. These cases can include civil and criminal matters that fall under federal law.
Offices are located in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, Ketchikan and Nome.
|Federal Court Caseload Statistics*|
|Year||Starting case load:||Cases filed:||Total cases:||Cases terminated:||Remaining cases:||Median time(Criminal)**:||Median time(Civil)**:||3 Year Civil cases#:||Vacant posts:##||Trials/Post|
|*All statistics are taken from the Official Federal Courts' Website and reflect the calendar year through September. **Time in months from filing to completion.|
#This statistic includes cases which have been appealed in higher courts. ##This is the total number of months that any judicial posts had spent vacant that year.
| • Temporary injunction against Greenpeace (2012)|
|Click for summary→|
|In March 2012, Anchorage Judge Sharon Gleason ruled in favor of Shell Oil, granting a temporary injunction creating a 500-meter safety zone for offshore drilling vessels. This injunction prevented Greenpeace activists from entering within 500-meters of drilling ships. The injunction request came after Greenpeace activists boarded the Shell drilling ship Noble Discoverer in February.
UpdateOn May 29, Judge Gleason extended previous restrictions against Greenpeace activists, preventing them from coming within a kilometer of Shell Oil's drilling ships. The original restriction applied only to ships within 12 miles of the coast while the newer restriction extended to cover ships up to 200 miles off the coast.
| • Joshua Wade case (2010)|
Judge(s):Ralph Beistline (Alaska v. Joshua Wade)
|Click for summary→|
|Judge Ralph Beistline presided in the trial of Joshua Wade. Wade was charged with murder and carjacking which is considered a federal offense. On January 4, 2010, the judge ordered the trial delayed until August of 2010 to make sure DNA evidence was gathered. However, in February 2010, Wade confessed to two murders in a plea deal. The confession spared him the death penalty, which is the punishment for a murder conviction in federal court.|
The following table highlights the development of judicial posts for the District of Alaska:
|July 7th, 1958||72 Stat. 339||1|
|May 19, 1961||75 Stat. 80||2|
|July 10, 1984||98 Stat. 333||3|
Former chief judges
In order to qualify for the office of chief judge in one of the federal courts, a judge must have been in active service on the court for at least one year, be under the age of 65, and have not previously served as chief judge. A vacancy in the office of chief judge is filled by the judge highest in seniority among the group of qualified judges. The chief judge serves for a term of seven years or until age 70, whichever occurs first. The age restrictions are waived if no members of the court would otherwise be qualified for the position. Unlike the Chief Justice of the United States, a chief judge returns to active service after the expiration of his or her term and does not create a vacancy on the bench by the fact of his or her promotion.
For more information about the judges of the District of Alaska, see former federal judges of the District of Alaska.
Five separate courthouses serve the District of Alaska.
- United States District Court for the District of Alaska Official Website
- US Attorney's Office District of Alaska
- Federal Judicial Center-U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska Website
- Judges of the District of Alaska
- List of all Article III federal judges for the District of Alaska
- Opinions of the District of Alaska
- Offices of the United States Attorneys, Official list
- The News Miner, "Shell gets injunction against Greenpeace for Arctic drill ships," Mar 29, 2012 (dead link)
- The Associated Press, "Actress, Greenpeace activists climb Arctic-bound oil drilling ship," Feb 24, 2012
- The Associated Press, "Greenpeace vs. Shell: Alaska Judge Restricts Activists From Boarding Offshore Drilling Vessels," May 30, 2012
- Anchorage Daily News, "Wade murder trial postponed until August, judge rules," January 4, 2010
- Anchorage Daily News, "Wade to spend life in prison," February 17, 2010
- History of the District of Alaska from the Federal Judicial Center
- United States Courts, "Frequently Asked Questions"
- United States Courts, "On Being Chief Judge," February 2009
|Magistrate judges||Scott A. Oravec • Leslie Longenbaugh • Kevin F. McCoy •|
|Former Article III judges|
|Former Chief judges|