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December 28, 2010

Alaska Senate Update: End Game?

Perhaps our long, national nightmare is finally over. I say perhaps, because Joe Miller could always appeal, right?

The federal judge dismissed the case, just as the Alaska courts did. Here's fairly federalist heart of it:

This is not to say that Miller’s technical arguments are frivolous, for it is easy to understand his view as to the proper interpretation of A.S. § 15.15.360(a)(11). But it is just as easy to accept the interpretation given by the Alaska Supreme Court. What we have before us is a poorly drafted state statute. Wisdom would suggest that the Alaska Legislature act to clarify it to avoid similar disputes in the future. For now we have to work with what we have and that is what the Alaska Supreme Court has done.

Generally speaking, the Alaska Supreme Court is the final expositor of Alaska law. That must be the case here. It concluded that Miller's interpretation of the statute "would erode the integrity of the election system," and held that "voter intent is paramount." Under the facts presented, this Court declines to second-guess the highest Court of the state.

The judge also dismissed Miller's equal protection claims. It's a short 11 pager (PDF).

So far there's no word that Miller intends to appeal. If he wanted, he could take this to the 9th Circuit. With the injunction lifted, Murky will be seated in time to keep her seniority.


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 08:54 PM

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