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Robert Boochever United States Courthouse dedication

Posted: March 2, 2014 - 1:02am

Alaska Senator Mark Begich will dedicate Juneau’s only federal courthouse at 3 p.m. on Monday, March 3, on the ninth floor of the Federal Building in Juneau, in memory of late judge Robert Boochever. The public is invited to attend the dedication ceremony hosted by the Boochever family, followed by a brief reception.

Boochever died in 2011 at age 94. His family remembers him best for his generosity, kindness, love of nature and sports, and his quick sense of humor.

In March 2012, Alaska U.S. Representative Don Young introduced a bill naming the U.S. Courthouse in Juneau after Boochever. It passed both the House and the Senate with strong support from Alaska senators Begich and Lisa Murkowski. President Obama signed the bill into law Oct. 5, 2012.

A graduate of both Cornell University and Law School, Robert Boochever came to the Territory of Alaska in 1946 as an Assistant United States Attorney. He was subsequently a partner in the law firm of Faulkner and Banfield, where he practiced for 25 years and established his reputation as a trial lawyer. In 1972 he was appointed to the Alaska State Supreme Court where he served for eight years, three as Chief Justice.

In 1980 President Jimmy Carter appointed Boochever to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, where he became known as a champion of individual rights. Boochever was the first Alaskan to serve in that capacity.

His many honors and recognitions included Juneau Man of the Year, ACLU Alaska Liberty Award, Cornell Law School’s Distinguished Alumnus Award and, posthumously, its Exemplary Public Service Award. In 1996 former law clerk Charles Bird endowed the Boochever and Bird Chair for the Study and Teaching of Freedom and Equality at the University of California Davis Law School.

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