Monday, February 17, 2020

Alaska: State Supreme Court allows signature gathering to begin in Governor recall effort; Court still waiting to hear case

The Alaska Supreme Court has now allowed petitioners to begin collecting signatures in the recall of  Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy (R). The ruling comes after Superior Court Judge Eric Aarseth issued a stay on his ruling holding that petitioners have adequate grounds to seek the recall of the Governor. That decision overturned the Division of Elections and Attorney General's positions that the recall did not hit the malfeasance standard requirement in Alaska.

The Supreme Court decision means that the petitioners can start collecting while the Supreme Court gets set to weigh in on the ruling.

 Aarseth previously issues a lifted his decision that halted the collection of signatures until the Alaska Supreme Court ruled on the case, then lifted the stay and said that the stay was handed down inadvertently.

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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