Thursday, January 23, 2020

Alaska: Superior Court Judge lifts stay and now allows signature collecting against Governor

Superior Court Judge Eric Aarseth has now lifted his decision that halted the collection of signatures until the Alaska Supreme Court rules on the case. Aarseth said that the stay was handed down inadvertently.

Aarseth previously authored a major ruling on the recall of the Governor, holding that petitioners have adequate grounds to seek the recall of Governor Mike Dunleavy (R). The decision overturned the Division of Elections and Attorney General's positions that the recall did not hit the malfeasance standard requirement in Alaska.

The recall is over major spending cuts, delays in appointing judges misusing state funds and mistakenly vetoing funds. Alaska is a malfeasance standard/judicial recall state, so a showing of cause is needed (though the state courts has taken a lenient view of the the cause requirement in past instances).

Petitioners needed to first get 28,501 signatures. If the decision is upheld, they would need 71,252 signatures to get to the ballot. Note that of the 49,006 signatures that they've already received, a third were by Democrats.

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