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Alaska governor appoints Anchorage lawyer to state Supreme Court

Alaska Dispatch
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Peter Maassen will become the 22nd justice of the Alaska Supreme Court.

Gov. Sean Parnell announced on Thursday that Maassen, a partner at the Anchorage law firm at Ingaldson, Maassen & Fitzgerald, will replace Justice Morgan Christen, who was appointed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in May 2011 by President Obama and confirmed on a 95-3 vote by the Senate last December.

Maassen earned his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School. He serves on the board of directors for the Anchorage Youth Court and the Alaska Bar Association board of governors, according to a statement from Parnell's office announcing the appointment.

He's also a registered Democrat who has consistently contributed to Democratic candidates and at least one Democratic-affiliated group, Alaska Conservation Voters.

Maassen was a lawyer for Democratic lawmakers during the infamous Troopergate scandal that plagued former Gov. Sarah Palin. Parnell was lieutenant governor during the controversy.

Parnell called Maassen's "thoughtful, humble, and articulate manner an asset to the Supreme Court and the Alaskans it serves," according to a press release from his office.

The Alaska Supreme Court is comprised of five judges -- a chief justice and four associate justices. Maassen was selected from a list of applicants by the Alaska Judicial Council.