Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Alaska: Judge allows Homer recall to go forward

A judge in Alaska has given the green light to the Homer City Council recalls, rejecting both the claims that the petitions did not meet the malfeasance standard/ judicial recall rules in the causes listed for a recall and tossing out the argument that the recall violated the first amendment rights of the council. The court specifically took apart the (to my eyes) novel first amendment claim, noting that it would "eviscerate the recall" and calling it an "unreasonable interpretation."

The ACLU/Homer City Council seems to have a claim on overturning the decision based on the first part.  The court held that a previous Alaska Supreme Court decision requires that the cause requirements of the recall needs to be liberally construed. However, it is not clear how an appellate court will rule, especially in light of the rejection of the Rep. Lindsey Holmes recall for flipping parties. We've seen in Washington, Montana and Minnesota that the courts have been unwilling to take a liberal view of the malfeasance standard.

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