An Alaska Supreme Court justice, who represented the state in the aftermath of the Exxon Valdez oil spill litigation, has been confirmed to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. In what amounts to lightening speed in the U.S. Senate these days, senators confirmed Christen to the 9th Circuit, on a 95-3 vote, just seven months after her nomination.
Christen, 50, of Anchorage, fills the seat vacated by Judge Andrew J. Kleinfeld of Fairbanks, who took senior status in June 2010.
Christen has been a justice on the Alaska Supreme Court just two years. She served as an appellate judge in the state from 2005 to 2009 and as a state trial judge began in 2001.
Her legal background is in civil law, working for the Anchorage office of Preston Thorgrimson Ellis & Holman, (now K&L Gates LLP) from 1987 to 2001.
She received a law degree from Golden Gate University School of Law in San Francisco in 1986 and an undergraduate degree from the University of Washington.
She clerked for Alaska state trial Judge Brian Shortell in 1986.
She is the first nominee to the 9th Circuit confirmed this year. Three others remain pending waiting for Senate action.