On Thursday, Rep. David Eastman will ask a judge to toss the lawsuit against his ability to serve as a legislator.
Mat-Su Valley resident Randall Kowalke and the Northern Justice Project filed a “lawfare” complaint with Superior Court, saying that because Eastman has a lifetime membership with Oath Keepers, he is in violation of the Alaska Constitution’s “disloyalty clause.”
Eastman’s trial date has been set for Dec. 12, and the Dec. 8 hearing is procedural and will be conducted via Zoom teleconference at 9 am.
It’s unlikely that Judge Jack McKenna will throw out the case, even though the State of Alaska, representing the Division of Elections, has also requested the case be tossed. Eastman is represented by attorney Joe Miller.
What the Kowalke-Northern Justice Project is alleging is that mere association with a group whose leaders have been convicted of crimes makes one also guilty of those crimes.
Taking that argument a step further, if the head of a Rotary Club was convicted for running a child trafficking ring, then any member of that Rotary Club would be guilty of the same.
But Judge McKenna allowed the case to go forward, which means he also is unlikely to suddenly rule to toss it.
The Oath Keepers is a loose-knit group that is comprised mainly of people who have served in law enforcement or the military. It’s leaeer, Stewart Rhodes and another leader of the organization were found guilty of seditious conspiracy for a plot to foment political violence at the U.S. Capitol and prevent the certification of the 2020 presidential election of President Joe Biden.
The case is 3AN-22-07404CI at this link.
Judge McKenna has ordered the Division of Elections to delay certification of House District 27 election results pending the result of the trial that he has already granted. But he also decided that Eastman could remain on the November ballot. Eastman won with over 50% of the vote, and did not even have to go through the ranked-choice voting process, due to his outright victory.
In high school, Eastman was named was State Eagle Scout of the Year. At West Point, he was a member of the Cadet Honor Committee. He has served as a military police office, firefighter, and EMT. Read more about his case at his legal defense fund website.