Justice Christen recuses herself from abortion initiative case
JUNEAU, Alaska: Alaska Supreme Court justice Morgan Christen has recused herself from a lawsuit seeking to remove an Alaska Parental Notification Initiative from the state's August 24, 2010 statewide ballot.
Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Alaskan chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit, which maintains that the initiative should be taken off the ballot because it is written in a misleading way. In March 2010, Superior Court Judge Frank Pfiffner said that the initiative could stay on the ballot if some of its language was revised.
The plaintiffs appealed Pfiffner's decision to the state's highest court.
State supreme court justice Christen, who was a member of Planned Parenthood in the mid-1990s, announced in mid-May that she was removing herself from the case. Before making this decision, Christen invited both sides of the case to file objections to her involvement in the case. Christen's decision to step down came without an explanation.
Christen was appointed to the court in 2009 by then-governor Sarah Palin. She is the second woman to serve on the court.