Breaking: Judge says Eastman can serve in Legislature

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Judge Jack McKenna, in an order released on Friday, says that while the Oath Keepers are an organization the judge believes took concrete action to overthrow by violence the United States government, Rep. David Eastman has taken no such action and “does not and did not possess a specific intent to further the Oath Keeper’s [sic] words or actions aimed at overthrowing the United States government. The court therefore finds that he is not disqualified from holding public office…”

The lawsuit brought by Wasilla partisan activist Randall Kowalke was asking that the court force the Division of Elections to make Eastman ineligible to serve because of his membership in an association that has up to 38,000 members, mostly former military and police officers. The Oath Keepers leadership was involved in events on Jan. 6, 2021 at the U.S. Capitol, when a few hundred citizens disrupted the certification of the Electoral College vote that made Joe Biden president. The group’s founder, Stewart Rhodes, has been convicted of seditious conspiracy.

Eastman, a Republican who just won his fourth term to represent Wasilla, was accused of violating the Alaska Constitution’s “disloyalty clause” for his membership in Oath Keepers. He once sent in dues that gave him a lifetime membership in the group. According to the Alaska Constitution, anyone advocating for the overthrow of the U.S. government cannot hold a public office.

Kowalke and the Northern Justice Project are not the first who have tried to prevent Eastman from serving. Democrats in the Alaska House tried to have him removed from office due to his attendance at a speech by President Donald Trump on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C.

The matter may be appealed to the Alaska Supreme Court.

97 COMMENTS

  1. Does anyone know if the plaintiff will be held responsible for all court costs including David Eastman’s legal fees?

      • The Republican Party Chairman in Eastman’s house district should sue the plaintiff for bringing a false legal claim on a duly elected representative. The Republican Party should have as much standing to sue as did the lone plaintiff seeking disqualification of Eastman. If the Republican Party doesn’t sue him, another Democrat will try a similar stunt in the future. Fight fire with fire.

        • If Kowalke alleged that Eastman engaged in violent acts in the Capitol as a basis for the disloyalty claim, then go after Kowalke for defamation. A libel claim against Kowalke will be easy to prove, as it is published in his Complaint against Eastman. Sue Kowalke for $5 million in civil action for damaging the reputation of Eastman.

      • Kowalke won’t have to pay anything. Dark money will pay his bills. Republican party won’t do squat to help pay Eastman’s.

  2. Representative Eastman:
    Congratulations to you and your able attorney, Mr. Joe Miller.
    .
    Beware: Your biggest enemies in the state legislature are some back-stabbing members of your own political party. You know who they are. The very ones who talk about you behind your back. Watch yourself!

  3. To overthrow the illegitimate U.S. government, but not the U.S. Constitution. Big difference. And everyone, including this “ judge” knows it. I for one want this rotten government overturned and the rule of law restored.

  4. I’m surprised. I was expecting this to go all the way to SCOTUS.

    Either a rare burst of common judicial sense, or someone told him to stand down.

    Either way, a win for the Constitution.
    Not many of those lately.

    • Have to admit, McKenna’s conscience played a roll in the courtroom. He would have faced a full-blown riot if he had disqualified Eastman. Smart move, your honor.

      • Judges aren’t supposed to be making rulings by conscience, political motivations, nor beliefs. Miller proved Eastman didn’t break the law and he holds no intent overthrowing america, which I personally think is only in God’s hands when HE decides HIS judgement on this nation by giving her unto her enemies, unless the Entire nation repents from the lowest citizen to highest leaders for its idolatry and moral corruption.

        • Jen, are you kidding? Judges are human and they weigh out political, ethical, moral and social consequences of their rulings. McKenna was smart enough to see that he would be a pariah with the public in this nonsense suit, if he ruled against Eastman. McKenna didn’t want that monkey on his back for the rest of his judicial career.

          • Judges make sure court rules are followed in litigation. They should check first for jurisdiction. They check to make sure the court rules for style are fulfilled for circuit and federal court rules. They make sure the correct motion practice is is followed. They make sure every jot is dotted and every tittle is crossed. That is what we, the people, pay them their emoluments from the public trust funds to do. Not sure what Disneyland or TV production you are alluding to.

  5. What about all the elected officials who belong or donated to BLM and Antifa? Portland’s Mayor stood by protesters throwing Molotov cocktails at an occupied Federal Courthouse and nothing happened to him.

    • 1. Antifa is not an organization, so there is no one to pay dues to and no card to carry.
      2. BLM did not advocate for violence. While there certainly was violence at a variety of social protests in 2020, including protests organized by BLM, the organization did not call for supporters to be violent.
      3. Violence in Portland was not the result of a single group–folks from “Antifa” to the Proud Boys to local and federal law enforcement all engaged in unlawful acts.
      4. It’ll be up to the Oregon legislature and/or Department of Law to address the mayor’s behavior.

      It seems like the judge took a pretty reasonable and nuanced stance on the legal merits of the Eastman case. Some folks may not like Eastman’s proud membership in the Oath Keepers, but clearly the voters of his district do support it. This hopefully puts this case to bed.

      • your crowd wears rose colored glasses that distorts reality making a person, group, decision look better than it actually is. As for this attack on eastman, the fight is far from over.

      • MRAK Fan , so the Facist that run ANTIFA are not an organization? That’s weird because they are organized, trained and their logistics are planned by someone.
        Wanna change your story or continue with your Bravo Sierra?

        • Have you actually been informed about either of these groups by an unbiased reporter, or just take the word of biased reporters?

          • Maureen, Sadly there has been a complete black out in regards to reporting on the Subject of Funding and Organization of the Terrorist Group known as ANTIFA . So, to answer your question I have not “taken” the word of a Corporate Scribe, (reporter) AKA LIAR.
            My sources are folks who were “on the Street” observing the obvious organization of your Pal’s over at Muscle Department of the DNC during 2020.

            P.S.
            I’ve got some great video of your ANTIFA pals starting violent episodes in the streets and finding out that there are many folks who apparently dislike them beating up on innocent by-standers. Happily for those Black Helmeted friends of yours at ANTIFA the uniformed officers who they seek to DEFUND came to their rescue.

      • “…….Antifa is not an organization………”
        Thus, there is the model for a new violent right wing, no? Don’t create a unified organization but rather a movement (like the 1773 and 2009 Tea Parties) without a hierarchical leadership structure, comprising of multiple autonomous groups and individuals, loosely affiliated with no chain of command, with groups sharing resources and information about leftist activity across regional and national borders through loosely knit networks and informal relationships of solidarity. Activists must hide their political activities from law enforcement and the far left and keep the sizes of groups small. If it works for the left, it can work for the right. And all is well with the world, huh? The race for the lowest common denominator?

  6. If being a member of an organization that has members who support violence against the government disqualifies you from being elected to office, then I guess we can disqualify all Democrats! (See Bill Ayers) Maybe all Republicans, too! (See Unibomber) Mights as well disqualify all humans while we’re at it. :/

    • “………Maybe all Republicans, too! (See Unibomber)……..”
      How was anybody in any political party associated with the Unibomber?

    • I remember calls to violence coming out of the mouths of the Dems against Conservative judges and members of Congress. But nothing happens to them.

  7. The case should never have gotten this far. McKenna loved being in the spotlight and soaking up the publicity. He milked it for all he could. He should have quickly dismissed the case on First amendment grounds and saved the parties the expense of litigating this frivolous and expensive law suit.

    Just another reason for a Constitution
    Convention or an amendment to Alaska’s constitution. Let the people select our judiciary. Not leave it to the liberal lawyers on the judicial council with the “ help” of the Chief Justice who is selected by his liberal colleagues.

  8. I think as the case unfolded, the judge realized he’d have “egg on his face” if he followed through with the witch hunt. Congrats to Eastman!

  9. Predictable outcome in this case. The judge did the job assigned to the judiciary.
    The question folks ought to be asking was why the Office of the Attorney General in the Dunleavy administration took such a wimpy and witless position in the case. The A.G. should have been defending the Division of Elections’ decision to allow Eastman to be on the ballot.

  10. It’s so ironic Democrats today are using a clause in the 14th Amendment meant to keep their traitorous —-s out of Congress after the Civil War on Republicans trying to keep the government in the peoples’ hands.

    • It’s tiring the amount of people who throw around “traitor” with zero understanding of the term.

      Or history, for that matter.

      Truly a massive indictment of Alaska public Ed.

  11. The right ruling from a 1st Amendment perspective but how any lawmaker can take pride in being part of such an organization, founded by a wife-beating scumbag, is beyond me.

  12. Is Judge Jack going to reimburse the State of Alaska for the cost of this virtue signalling trial that should have been dismissed from the get go! Until government officials have to face financial or career ending consequences for their screw ups than this type of grandstanding will continue. Waste of time and money.

    • It was Randall Kowalke who created this situation. Do a bit of research on that guy and the legal firm he hired. Remember their names.

  13. PRAISE GOD! Congrats to Eastman! This is an important win on many levels. I cringe at the thought of what may have happened if he had lost. A duly elected many-times-over Representative.

        • I gave up on being religious a long time ago. Its silly to believe in a global flood, for example, when there is no evidence for it. A belief in god soothes and comforts, but its not real.

          • Good news, Paolo, is God didn’t give up on you.
            .
            There’s no evidence that you’re the best version God has made of Pablo Estrada but, silly as it may seem, we’ll believe it.
            .
            How’s that for real?

          • “I gave up on being religious a long time ago. Its silly to believe in a global flood, for example……..”
            Is it silly to also believe in global warming? Is that also a religion?

        • Just like the billions of other “miracles” that have ever been born. Like any god would care about what happens to one species of primate from a legal perspective or any other for that matter. There’s no reason to not to believe that if god does exists, that he/she/it wouldn’t be completely indifferent to us.

      • Go read the bible to answer your question starting with old testament where you get a little
        Peek into Isreal’s history displaying how involved, or seem like he far away,
        God is in our world.

  14. I think it is in order that Kowalke reimburse the state for this waste of time. I hear a court room cost us a fortune.

    I think our court system would settle for $1 million in expenses and wasted time that could have been spent on actual criminal cases.

    Slither back where ever you came from Kowalke. Your not welcome here anymore.

  15. Congratulations, Representative Eastman. Now, go back to Juneau and kick some a$$. But don’t cave-in to the little cowards that surround you.

  16. Really believe that 5 Oath Keepers were going to overthrow the govt. of the US.!! And really believe that 38,000 other Oath Keepers ( many of them busy enforcing the law all over America) were primed prepared and ready to join in the “ insurrection”!! The judge needs to do a more thorough reality check!!

  17. Will be looking for Jack McKenna’s name when it next appears on the ballot, planning to vote him OUT. This case should have been dismissed without merit.

  18. Wise of the judge, though
    he personally would like to see Eastman retired. Eastman displays
    he’s too true to God ordained principles which results to
    his continued protection.

    • Guy AK,
      Sir, Lincoln’s Gettysburg address segment quoted above isn’t part of the U.S. Constitution, nor is it any part of the “American Scripture” ( Madison’s Copious Notes, Federalist Papers, The Declaration of 1776) which are commonly used to define the Constitution. It is a beautiful utterance however and describes the relationship between Government and The People.

  19. The right verdict was reached, although it should have been dismissed in the first place. The defendant did nothing wrong, had an excellent attorney, well versed in these matters, who put forth a first class defense. A true rarity in the Alaskan Politico-Judiciary.

  20. Question , why didn’t this case be rule & so ordered ” with prejudice ” in favor of David Eastman ? Second Question : Isn’t it totally political this Judge’s first line! Third Question : How can this Judge condemn 38,000 Membership to acts to overthrow our Government when in fact it’s the opposite? Where is the “concrete proof” & ” findings of fact ” in this orders statement??? I say impeach this Judge before more Political rulings come from him! His unprecedented stay on a duly elected Representative election certification is beyond his jurisdiction , period ! Another reason to impeach him.

  21. Wait, know since something went your way, and I believe it was the right call, no matter what I think of that little weasel Eastman, y’all have faith in the courts all of a sudden.

  22. While watching the live stream of this trial, I could not help but to notice that it says on the lower left corner of the screen how many people were watching. It never even reached 100. How disappointing to see the lack of concern when the core of our freedom was being challenged.

  23. Apparently, the judge was there on 6 Jan? He has first hand knowledge, or has he taken the kangaroo courts’ of DC and elsewhere as legitimate? Total moron, he should have left that out altogether. Further, he needs to look up the meaning of sedition. Sedition was the acts of ANTIFA and BLM during 2020 through to today. They make no bones about their desire to destroy the U.S., overthrow the constitutional Republic and replace it with a globalist communist government. Was on their websites for all to see. The issue in Eastman’s trial was the 1st Amendment, both political protected speech and his right to association with other individuals who swore to protect and to support the Constitution of the United States. Nothing sedition in the Oath Keepers, no record of seditious conspiracy or writings, or anything, other than a record of solid support for local and state LE and disaster response in emergencies. Hope Eastman sues those bringing the lawsuit.

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