Juneau residents line up outside of the Planet Alaska Gallery to sign an application petition to recall Gov. Mike Dunleavy on Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Juneau residents line up outside of the Planet Alaska Gallery to sign an application petition to recall Gov. Mike Dunleavy on Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Judge halts enforcement of decision in Alaska recall case

  • By BECKY BOHRER Associated Press
  • Tuesday, January 21, 2020 11:08pm
  • News

By Becky Bohrer

Associated Press

JUNEAU — A state court judge on Tuesday put on hold a decision that would have allowed supporters of an effort to recall Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy to begin a new signature-gathering phase.

Earlier this month, Superior Court Judge Eric Aarseth in Anchorage said petitions should be issued by Feb. 10, unless that date is stayed by the Alaska Supreme Court. At that time, he said he “does not intend on granting a stay of that process.”

Aarseth’s order Tuesday followed recent written arguments by Stand Tall With Mike, a group opposing the recall. The order did not go into detail for the judge’s reasoning in granting a stay but said the decision was made upon consideration of the group’s filing. The decision states that the matter is stayed pending resolution of the case in the Alaska Supreme Court.

Claire Pywell, campaign manager for the Recall Dunleavy group, said Tuesday’s decision “does not impact the merits of his primary ruling — the recall application that over 46,000 Alaskans signed is still valid.”

Aarseth in his initial ruling struck one of the allegations raised by the recall group but determined the others should be allowed to proceed.

“Recall Dunleavy intends to pursue all necessary procedures at every level to guarantee that Alaskans will have the opportunity to sign the recall petition as soon as possible,” Pywell said in a statement.

The Recall Dunleavy group, in a court filing, asked Aarseth to reconsider his stay. In court documents, it labels as “specious and speculative” arguments made by recall opponents that they would be irreparably harmed if the signature-gathering was not halted pending appeal. Stand Tall With Mike said in a court filing that if the Republican governor faces a recall campaign, “he will be less able to focus on fulfilling his campaign promises while defending against this recall effort,” the document states. The recall opposition group also said that if signature gathering moved forward and the Supreme Court ultimately struck down at least part of the recall application, it would lead to more legal disputes and create confusion. “Such a result does not accord with Alaska’s orderly process of recall for cause,” the filing states. “It is better for all to measure twice and cut once.”

Stand Tall With Mike stated it was prepared to seek an appeal on an expedited schedule. Brewster Jamieson, an attorney for Stand Tall With Mike, said he was pleased with Aarseth’s order, adding the matter needs to be fully decided by the Alaska Supreme Court.

A tweet from Attorney General Kevin Clarkson’s account said Tuesday that Aarseth’s order “makes sense because the Supreme Court’s direction on statewide recall standards is needed.”

• By Becky Bohrer, Associated Press

More in News

Girl Scout Troop 210, which includes Caitlyn Eskelin, Emma Hindman, Kadie Newkirk and Lyberty Stockman, present their “Bucket Trees” to a panel of judges in the 34th Annual Caring for the Kenai Competition at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska, on Thursday, April 18, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Bucket trees take top award at 34th Caring for the Kenai

A solution to help campers safely and successfully extinguish their fires won… Continue reading

Children work together to land a rainbow trout at the Kenai Peninsula Sport, Rec & Trade Show on Saturday, May 6, 2023, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Sport show returns next weekend

The 37th Annual Kenai Peninsula Sport, Rec & Trade Show will be… Continue reading

Alaska Press Club awards won by Ashlyn O’Hara, Jeff Helminiak and Jake Dye are splayed on a desk in the Peninsula Clarion’s newsroom in Kenai, Alaska, on Monday, April 22, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Clarion writers win 9 awards at Alaska Press Club conference

The Clarion swept the club’s best arts and culture criticism category for the 2nd year in a row

Exit Glacier, as seen in August 2015 from the Harding Icefield Trail in Kenai Fjords National Park just outside of Seward, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
6 rescued after being stranded in Harding Ice Field

A group of six adult skiers were rescued after spending a full… Continue reading

City of Kenai Mayor Brian Gabriel and City Manager Terry Eubank present “State of the City” at the Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Visitor’s Center in Kenai, Alaska, on Wednesday, April 17, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Mayor, city manager share vision at Kenai’s ‘State of the City’

At the Sixth Annual State of the City, delivered by City of… Continue reading

LaDawn Druce asks Sen. Jesse Bjorkman a question during a town hall event on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
District unions call for ‘walk-in’ school funding protest

The unions have issued invitations to city councils, the borough assembly, the Board of Education and others

House District 6 race gets 3rd candidate

Alana Greear filed a letter of intent to run on April 5

Kenai City Hall is seen on Feb. 20, 2020, in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai water treatment plant project moves forward

The city will contract with Anchorage-based HDL Engineering Consultants for design and engineering of a new water treatment plant pumphouse

Students of Soldotna High School stage a walkout in protest of the veto of Senate Bill 140 in front of their school in Soldotna, Alaska, on Wednesday, April 17, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
SoHi students walk out for school funding

The protest was in response to the veto of an education bill that would have increased school funding

Most Read