Fake emergency? Recall group asking Supreme Court to hurry up the hearings

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The “legal dream team” at the heart of the effort to recall Gov. Mike Dunleavy believe they have an emergency on their hands, and they’re asking the Alaska Supreme Court to grant them an emergency hearing.

The emergency? A lower court judge ruled against the Recall Dunleavy Committee — but only in part.

Superior Court Judge Eric Aarseth said the group can continue with its recall effort, but will not be allowed to collect signatures on a petition until the recall challenges make their way through the Supreme Court.

Former Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth and former Chief of Staff Scott Kendall are the lead lawyers for the Recall Dunleavy Committee. They were also lead dogs in the Walker Administration, essentially running the state until they became unelected along with Walker in 2018.

Theirs is a campaign of political revenge, and they have the backing of deep pockets who objected to the governor’s budget cuts last year. They also have their own legal reputations on the line; this, after all, is the former attorney general throwing her weight around to avenge the 2018 election. Losing would not be a good look.

The recallers, including Lindemuth and Kendall, started their effort to unseat Dunleavy almost immediately after he was sworn in, and they began compiling their list of “offenses” that they could take to the public for a do-over vote. Their efforts are eerily similar to the calls for impeachment of President Trump, which began as soon as he took office.

Lindemuth and Kendall knew their cases would end up in court, and they might have expected that Dunleavy would challenge them all the way to the Supreme Court.

The Stand Tall With Mike group is doing just that. But Lindemuth and Kendall are fighting the clock now — they do not want this governor’s recall to be a question on the General Election ballot, when Republicans come out in force to vote. Therefore, they are asserting they have an emergency.

[Read: Plans to fast-track recall hit molasses in January]

Judge Aarseth last month called it inappropriate for the Division of Elections to issue petition booklets before the Alaska Supreme Court determines if any of the actual “charges” are legal grounds for a recall. Aarseth himself already threw out one of the charges.

The grounds for recall that the group has remaining include:

  • The governor made partisan statements. This relates to a media campaign in which he asked people to contact their lawmakers and ask them to vote for a full Permanent Fund dividend. Using this logic, no politician may make partisan political statements.
  • The governor was late appointing a judge. In fact, Dunleavy met the constitutional deadline for appointing the judge and there was never a vacancy.
  • The governor vetoed administrative funds for the court system. The lawyers are asserting that the governor doesn’t have a constitutional right to veto funds unless they agree with his reason.
  • The governor made a mistake on a veto in 2019. The mistake, a scrivener’s error, was corrected when discovered and no harm was done.

Recall Dunleavy wants its hearing this month in the Supreme Court; it wants the court to overturn the lower court ruling so it can get its hands on those petition booklets. Recall Dunleavy is asking for oral arguments on the merits of the case to be held Feb. 19-21. If it can’t get the hearing it wants, then it’s asking the court to allow the signature-gathering phase to begin anyway.

“The citizens seeking recall are irreparably harmed by every additional day of delay,” the lawyers argued in their request for an emergency hearing.

In a scrivener’s error of her own, lawyer Lindemuth has asked the court for a hearing schedule to be set by no later than Tuesday, Feb. 5.

It’s unclear if Lindemuth, in her haste, meant Tuesday, Feb. 4, or Wednesday, Feb. 5. But this is the kind of error for which Lindemuth and Kendall believe a governor can be recalled.

The Stand Tall With Mike group will need to file its response to the court no later than Feb. 7.

The group didn’t file its application for petition booklets until Sept. 5, 2019. It could have filed months earlier because it had the requisite signatures weeks prior to Sept. 5, but now it wants the court to declare an emergency to ramrod the matter through the courts.

18 COMMENTS

  1. They got greedy for signatures on the initial application and now are mad that they can’t juice their momentum and game the courts. Sad for the Do-over Duo!

  2. Expedited consideration by the SCt will not be granted because some members on that court are on the record for making prejudicial statements about Dunleavy’s political actions, which have surfaced as reasons for his recall. Bar sanctions could be levied against those jurists who participate. The bottom line is that while Walker has moved on, his third-rate attorneys have not. Their desperation to “get” Dunleavy is Exhibit A of their ineptness as attorneys and evidence of their blind hatred for Republicans. Lindemuth and Kendall have a better chance of success for trying to convince judges to don clown costumes.

  3. Maybe the Supreme Court will issue a ruling from the bench that they will accept this non-emergency as an emergency only to change the ruling a week or so later that it’s not an emergency and change their mind the next day and say it is an emergency then another week or so later decide it isn’t in fact an emergency at all…

    • I’m sure they will accommodate so’s you can label them incompetent without any evidence of it. That’s how the courts roll. Heheh!

      • Bill,

        If they were to do as you’ve suggested (and especially for the reason you’ve suggested) they would be providing all the evidence necessary to meet the definition of the word incompetent, which as you well know is lacking the qualities needed for effective action; unable to function properly.
        .
        Fortunately that’s not how the majority of the courts roll, although there are a small percentage who have recently demonstrated just how incompetent they are.

        • Now who was it that suggested that they might do it? Wasn’t me. Heheh!
          But you are the expert on incompetence, especially when it comes to jurists.

          • Thanks for ceding the point that I am able to see the plainly obvious when it comes to jurist incompetence Bill, I know it took a lot for you to admit that. Hopefully this will be the last of your incomprehensible defense of the incompetence displayed by Judge Aarseth. I am glad you have finally come to understand the obvious, I told you we would help you figure this all out and now you’ve done it!
            .
            Well done Bill, well done indeed.

          • And Bill, if you didn’t suggest it I’m not sure who did. I was questioning (in a rhetorical manner) whether the Supreme Court would take such incompetent actions as Judge Aarseth has in this case, whereas you suggested that they take action to accommodate me for some reason.

  4. I would urge folks not to get too dismissive of all of this – the Alaska Supreme Court has demonstrated time and time again that they are capable of anything. In almost all cases, the Justices have been living in the echo chamber of the Left for forty years or so and are incapable of objective reasoning. They wake up every morning with a presumption that the Left must be correct as to everything and must prevail in litigation.

  5. We need less lawyers. They are the poison of us all. The Left can not stand to lose like a big boy. They have to resort to Chicago-style tactics.

  6. This is the same crap they tried to pull on President Trump. I’m sorry for the vernacular but blunt language can get across a clear concept. The liberals are upset that we stupid working class people voted and since they are sooo much smarter than we stupid working class people and we don’t know what’s good for ourselves, they have to intervene and correct the error of our sorry ways. I resent this. I voted in a fair and legal election and Governor Dunleavy has the power to make the decisions that he needs to make to run the Ship of State. I’m getting real tired of every fair and legal election I vote in to be questioned by a bunch of Socialist Democrats who doesn’t respect the votes of us all. I am really sick of it, it’s wearing real thin on my soul. It’s almost gotten to the point that our votes don’t count anymore, so why bother? I hope to never get that jaded, but I get exasperated at times.

    • Actually, Trump lost the popular vote, mostly because stupid working class people voted against him. If it wasn’t for our relatively undemocratic electoral college, Clinton would be president right now. So, please, don’t pretend the people voted Trump into office — he lost by over 3 million votes. The states voted him in. Dunleavy, on the other hand, did win the popular vote and does have a mandate. It just so happens he almost pissed it away by coming out of the gate too hard. But he’s learning.

  7. Say there PN, you do realize this recall process is constitutionally protected to occasionally be rid of a Gov. who has left the rails. So sorry you are sick of it. Tough noogies.

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