Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals nominee Morgan Christen and San Francisco district court hopeful Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers got a step closer to confirmation on Thursday.
They were among six of President Obama's federal court picks approved in a quick voice vote by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
If confirmed, Christen, an Alaska Supreme Court justice, would be the first Golden Gate University law school alumna to serve on the Ninth Circuit. And she would be the first female from Alaska -- and only the third person from that state -- to serve on the appeals court, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said at a hearing earlier this year.
Christen's 2009 appointment to the Supreme Court was noteworthy because then-Gov. Sarah Palin, a pro-choice conservative, appointed Christen, who had once served on a board of Planned Parenthood. (Palin, it should be noted, had to pick between two pro-choice nominees, due to Alaska's judicial appointment process.) Christen was a state trial judge for four years. Before that, she was a litigation partner at what's now K&L Gates. She would replace Judge Andrew Kleinfeld, who took senior status last year.
Gonzalez Rogers, an Alameda County Superior Court judge since 2008 and a former Cooley partner, is in line for the Northern District seat vacated by Vaughn Walker.