United States District Court for the District of Alaska

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
District of Alaska
Ninth Circuit
Alaska district court.gif
Judges: 3
Posts: 3
Vacancies: 0
Active judges
Chief: Ralph Beistline
Senior Judges
Magistrate Judges
Former Judges
(Numbers indicate % of seats vacant.)
More than 40%

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.

The United States Attorney for the District of Alaska represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. The current district attorney is Karen L. Loeffler.[1]

Vacancy warning level

The United States District Court for the District of Alaska's vacancy warning level is green.

Pending nominations

There are no pending nominations for the United States District Court for the District of Alaska.

Active judges

Article III judges

JudgeBornHomeAppointed byActiveChiefPreceededBachelorsLaw
Chief Judge Ralph Beistline1948Fairbanks, AKW. Bush 3/19/2002 - Present2009 - PresentRussel HollandUniversity of Alaska, B.A., 1972University of Puget Sound School of Law, J.D., 1974
Judge Timothy Burgess1956San Francisco, CAW. Bush 1/23/2006 - PresentJames SingletonUniversity of Alaska, B.A., 1978Northeastern U. Law School, J.D., 1987
Judge Sharon L. Gleason1957Rochester, NYObama 11/15/2011 - PresentJohn SedwickWashington U., St. Louis, B.A., 1979University 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 judges

JudgeAppointed byActiveChiefSeniorBachelorsLaw
Senior Judge John SedwickH.W. Bush 10/9/1992-3/13/20112002-20093/13/2011-PresentDartmouth College, 1968Harvard Law School, 1972
Senior Judge James SingletonH.W. Bush 5/14/1990 - 1/27/20051995 - 20021/27/2005 - PresentUniversity of California, Berkeley, A.B., 1961University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law, LL.B., 1964
Senior Judge Russel HollandReagan 7/16/1984 - 9/18/20011989 - 19959/18/2001 - PresentUniversity of Michigan, B.B.A., 1958University of Michigan Law School, LL.B., 1961
Senior Judge James von der HeydtL.B. Johnson 11/3/1966 - 7/15/19841973 - 19847/15/1984 - PresentAlbion College, B.A., 1942Northwestern 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 judges

Magistrate Judge Scott A. Oravec2/20/2009-Present
Magistrate Judge Leslie Longenbaugh7/10/2008-PresentVassar CollegeUniversity of California, Hastings College of Law
Magistrate Judge Kevin F. McCoy5/9/2014-Present


The Boroughs of Alaska (click for larger map)

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*
YearStarting case load:Cases filed:Total cases:Cases terminated:Remaining cases:Median time(Criminal)**:Median time(Civil)**:3 Year Civil cases#:Vacant posts:## Trials/Post
2013 7155461261562 6999.09.735 (10.9%)09
2012 7135341247572 6759.77.4193(38.7%)1.510
2011 5655221087530 5577.29.1170(35.6%)6.67
2010 5435451088544 54410.18.735(9.3%)010
2009 5875601147610 5378.57.226(6.9%)011
2008 5805781158590 5687.59.942(10.7%)010
*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.

Notable cases

For cases in the District of Alaska, see Justia.com or the Alaska Court System.


Federal building and courthouse in Anchorage, Alaska

The District of Alaska was established by Congress on July 7th, 1958 with one post to cover the entire state. Over time two additional judicial posts were added for a total of three current posts.[7]

Judicial posts

The following table highlights the development of judicial posts for the District of Alaska:[7]

Year Statute Total Seats
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.[8][9]

Former judges

For more information about the judges of the District of Alaska, see former federal judges of the District of Alaska.

Federal courthouse

Five separate courthouses serve the District of Alaska.

See also

External links


AlaskaAlaska Supreme CourtAlaska Court of AppealsAlaska Superior CourtAlaska District CourtNative American Tribal CourtsUnited States District Court for the District of AlaskaUnited States Court of Appeals for the Ninth CircuitAlaska countiesAlaska judicial newsAlaska judicial electionsJudicial selection in AlaskaAlaskaTemplatewithoutBankruptcy.jpg