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|Current Court Information:|
|United States District Court for the District of Alaska|
|Appointed by:||George H.W. Bush|
|Active:||10/9/1992 - 3/13/2011|
|Chief:||2002 - 2009|
|Senior:||3/13/2011 - Present|
|Preceded by:||Andrew Kleinfeld|
|Succeeded by:||Sharon L. Gleason|
|Home State:||Kittanning, PA|
|Undergraduate:||Dartmouth College, B.A., 1968|
|Law School:||Harvard Law School, J.D., 1972|
|Military service:||U.S. Air Force Sergeant, 1969 - 1971|
John W. Sedwick is a federal judge serving on senior status for the United States District Court for the District of Alaska. He joined the court in 1992 after being nominated by President George H.W. Bush. He serves as chief judge of the court from 2002 until he assumed senior status on March 13, 2011.
Early life and education
A native Pennsylvanian, Sedwick graduated from Dartmouth College with his bachelor's degree in 1968 and later graduated from Harvard Law School with his Juris Doctor in 1972. Sedwick also served as a active duty U.S. Air Force Sergeant from 1969 to 1971.
Sedwick served the majority of his legal career as a private practice attorney licensed in the State of Alaska from 1972 to 1981 and again from 1982 to 1992. From 1981 to 1982, Sedwick served as the Director of the Division of Land and Water Management for the Alaska Department of Natural Resources.
District of Alaska
On the recommendation of U.S. Senator Ted Stevens and Frank Murkowski, Sedwick was nominated by President George H.W. Bush on July 2, 1992, to a seat vacated by Andrew Kleinfeld after Klienfield was elevated to the Ninth Circuit. Sedwick was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on October 8, 1992 on unanimous consent and received his commission on October 9, 1992. Sedwick has served as the chief judge of the court since 2002.
Alaska House of Representative corruption case (2010)
*UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v. PETER KOTT No. CR-07-00056-JWS
Judge Sedwick was the judge in the corruption trial of two former members of the Alaska House of Representatives who were convicted of corruption and bribery in office. Sedwick ruled on the question of whether former State Representatives Pete Kott and Vic Kohring should be re-tried, as their lawyers argued that prosecutors had failed to disclose gifts received from the same federal contractors that were responsible in reversing the conviction of US Senator Ted Stevens in 2008. Despite an appeal filed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the policy of the Ninth Circuit requires that Judge Sedwick must rule to grant a new trial before the appeals court can hear any oral arguments. On January 13, 2010, Judge Sedwick ruled that he would not grant a new trial to Alaska House Speaker Pete Kott.
Hinger v. Carpeneti (2009)
*Hinger v. Carpeneti 3:09-cv-00136-JWS
Hinger v. Carpeneti was a federal lawsuit that challenged the constitutionality of the judicial selection process in Alaska. The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Alaska on July 2, 2009. The complaint said that Alaska's judicial selection system, which is a variant of the Missouri Plan, gives disproportionate influence to attorneys and, in so doing, violates the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution, and 42 USC § 1983. Judge Sedwick dismissed the suit.
In the dismissal, Sedwick wrote:
|“||Alaska’s founders, when considering the selection of the members of the Judicial Council at the Constitutional Convention, discussed these tensions and resolved the debate in favor of the expertise that attorneys could bring to the process. The Equal Protection Clause, as long interpreted by the federal courts, does not preclude Alaska from making that choice.||”|
- The Associated Press, "Alaska judge dismisses coal case on procedural grounds," September 17, 2012
- Judge John Sedwick Federal Judicial Center Biography
- Judge Sedwick's Biography from the Federal Judicial Center.
- "THOMAS" Nomination of John Sedwick, February 5, 2009
- "Associated Press" Judge to decide new trials for Alaska Lawmakers, August 31, 2009
- "Fairbanks News Miner" Federal judge says former Alaska House speaker got a fair trial, January 14, 2010
- Alaska Employment Law, "Attack on Constitutionality of Alaska Judicial Selection Plan," July 6, 2009
- "Lawsuit challenges Alaska judicial nomination process" Associated Press, August 26, 2009
- "Lawsuit challenging judge choice tossed" Anchorage Daily News, September 11, 2009
- "Alaska Suit on Judges Is Dismissed" Associated Press, September 12, 2009
- Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, "Hinger v. Carpeneti," September 30, 2010
|Federal judicial offices|
|District of Alaska
Sharon L. Gleason
|Magistrate judges||Scott A. Oravec • Leslie Longenbaugh • John D. Roberts • Deborah M. Smith •|
|Former Article III judges|
|Former Chief judges|