The U.S. Senate approved President Trump’s pick for a federal District Court judgeship in Alaska Wednesday, sending Anchorage’s Joshua Kindred onto a lifetime position.
Kindred was the president’s second pick for the position. Jonathan Katchen, 42, was Trump’s first choice but received hefty pushback due to his poor scoring from the Alaska Bar Association and because of his age — younger than most appointments for lifetime court positions. He removed his name from consideration.
Kindred, the son-in-law of the late Sen. Chris Birch, is actually a year younger than Katchen. He has significant experience that was cited during his confirmation hearing. This includes time working as a violent crimes prosecutor in the district attorney’s office in Anchorage as well as time served last year as the regional solicitor for the Interior Department.
Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski noted this experience in a statement celebrating the Senate confirmation vote.
“Josh Kindred’s experience in civil, criminal, and administrative law, at both the state and federal levels, in both the public sector as well as the private sector, is exactly what we should seek in a nominee for a court of original jurisdiction such as the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska,” Murkowski said. “His background also brings a welcomed and valuable understanding of Alaska’s unique federal lands laws and landscape. That skillset, that operational base of knowledge on Alaska-specific laws and matters, is vital for our state.”
Fellow Alaska Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan introduced Kindred before the Senate Judiciary Committee months earlier and joined Murkowski in celebrating the vote.
“I was proud to cast my vote in support of Joshua Kindred to be Alaska’s next federal district court judge,” Sullivan said. “Josh’s wide-ranging experience – both in the public and private sectors – will be incredibly valuable to Alaska. Josh understands Alaska’s unique legal jurisprudence. He is committed to honoring the commitments Congress has made to the First People of Alaska, and he is committed to justice. I believe he will serve with honor and integrity on the federal court.”
Kindred’s nomination was confirmed by the Senate Judiciary Committee in December before being sent to the full Senate for approval. The vote was 54-41, with two Democrats joining the Republicans.
Contact staff writer Erin McGroarty at 459-7544. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMpolitics.