Breaking: Can Dunleavy get a fair shake from this court?



The judge who issued a “stay” to prevent petition booklets from being issued for the Recall Dunleavy effort, has now reversed his ruling — again. This is his second reversal on the same question.

He vacated his order that went out Tuesday. The Tuesday order was a reversal from his earlier order.

Judge Eric Aarseth originally said on Jan. 10 that he would allow the petition booklets to be issued to the Recall Dunleavy Committee.

On Tuesday, he changed his mind after the Stand Tall for Mike group asked for a “stay” in writing.

And today, he has reversed his ruling once again, saying he erred on Tuesday in an order that was stamped Friday, Jan. 16 and that was not made public until Tuesday.

The question is: While the legitimacy of the recall effort is being appealed to the Alaska Supreme Court, should the Recall Dunleavy group be allowed to collect signatures. Judge Aarseth, during the hearing on the case on Jan. 10, recessed for 10 minutes and then returned to issue a verbal ruling, allowing the petition to be distributed — a ruling that all in the courtroom could see he had decided before the hearing even started.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

Tuesday’s story:


  1. This should mandate recusal, based on the “judge’s” inappropriate actions in not issuing a timely, sound, unbiased ruling. Aarseth appears to be influenced by ‘other than judicial’ matters.

  2. Suzanne,
    You should not be surprised by this since just yesterday you wrote:
    “The request for a stay was thought to be procedural, since the judge had already verbally stated he would not grant a stay.”
    Obviously with all the motions filled by the “stand tall guys” the judge was getting confused.
    Appropriately he identified his mistake which shows his true integrity.

    • This judge had no clue what he was doing. He talked to other judges and was nicely told what he should do. He erred again, and abused discretion. Beyond the bounds. And this will go up.

  3. What reason would Judge Aarseth have for granting a stay? Seems he realize the mistake there and corrected it.

    • Three possibilities come to mind:


      -Some political group got to him.

      -Someone is blackmailing him.

      Or, maybe it’s just like Dunleavy making a small error on a veto item, and then correcting it, just a human error, and now a gang of lawyers is trying to recall him for that as a sign of incompetence … Is this also a small error, easily remedied, something that a judge could be recalled for? Yeah but in Alaska we cannot recall our judges. Sad! When is this judge up for reelection???

      • Another possibility is that he just made a mistake. It happens. Like a candidate for governor who says he will pay a full PFD and won’t cut the ferry system or K-12 education, or payments to seniors, etc.,etc. and won’t seek any new revenue.
        I think this guy deserves a little slack. It’s not like he is saying it should or should not happen, it’s more like he is saying we need to follow procedure, and that he made a mistake on the procedure, not the issue itself.
        And if you don’t, that’s probably a mistake, too.

  4. He took his time, reviewed the goods and made a decision. Go easy. Have any of you ever had a real job and been asked to make split second decisions in the midst of chaos? Go easy on him.

  5. Honest mistake by the judge. However based on the proponents of Recall Dunleavy this should qualify the judge to be recalled.

  6. Another imposter ‘judge’ dependent upon the Alaska Bar Association; It’s becoming painfully obvious.

  7. We have grounds for recall that are not substantial. We have a recall effort planned based on Dunleavy’s budget cutting ways. Allowing the signature collection to proceed gives the recall effort the maximum time to reach 80 thousand, and still puts the decision for the recall in the hands of the Supreme Court. This puts more pressure on Dunleavy, but should leave him no doubt that the Recall is going to proceed, and that the Court is not smiling upon him. If the “stay” had given him any hope, that is now gone…

    • …and rightfully so. Aside from the fact that Stand Tall blatantly lied during his campaign, and we silly Alaskans bought it and thought we could have our cake and eat it, the petition lists the reasons for recall. Now, if we wait for the lawyers to get fully involved, we will never, ever have a recall petition that has a mere 200 words.
      Making recall moot.

  8. Excuses aplenty for incompetence. Ask again, “is there a two tiered justice system”? More like several ‘tiers’. Regular, conservative citizens at the bottom. Leftists at the top. So it goes.

  9. This judge further lowers people’s confidence in the legal institution. And that is very dangerous. He must be using a coin flip to make decisions–heads I win, tails you lose.

  10. Indecision is the key to flexibility and this guy’s a yogi for certain.

    Oh wait, I didn’t mean he was a yogi.

    Oh wait, I actually did.

    Oh wait…

  11. A group of Alaskans wants to seize their neighbors property- the PFD-so
    that they may spend it on enriching their friends and paying for things they want paid for. This group believes the people ought not be entitled to make these sorts of decisions and that they are best left to wealthy elites, politicians, and bureaucrats. This group wants a large government sector and a very limited private sector.

    Another group of Alaskans wants a smaller government, to keep their PFD, and to be able to have a day in making certain of Alaska’s most important decisions. This group wants a limited government and robust private sector, including resource development and more private land ownership.

    This is what the last election was about, and what the recall will be about. It’s a pretty direct conflict. Two vastly different visions for the future of Alaska, and two totally differing ideologies. It will be interesting to see which way Alaska chooses to go.

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