July 16, 2021 (Anchorage, AK) – Governor Mike Dunleavy today issued the following statement regarding the Alaska Supreme Court’s opinion in State v. Recall Dunleavy:
“The Alaska Supreme Court today issued an opinion that creates a standardless recall process, subjecting elected officials at every level, and across the political spectrum, to baseless, expensive, and distracting recall elections by their political opponents. The court has made it clear that even plainly false allegations of wrongdoing can trigger this process, undermining our election process, and prevents our elected officials from focusing on the many serious issues facing Alaskans.
The Legislature can and should fix the law to create well-defined recall grounds, preserving the right of the people to recall elected officials for legitimate reasons, but preventing the political free-for-all created by today’s decision.
Unfortunately, the opinion today went far beyond what was needed to decide this particular case—it took the opportunity to attack the line-item veto power specifically granted to the Governor by the Alaska Constitution. As Justice Stowers said today in his dissent to this decision, “the court unconstitutionally aggrandizes its own power and imperils the independence of another branch of government. The court’s decision undermines Alaska’s constitution and the separation of powers.”
I have long argued that the Alaska Supreme Court—and the people of this state—would benefit if the Alaska Judicial Council would nominate a slate of candidates with more balanced and diverse judicial philosophy. I am not the first governor of this state to think this. Today’s decision underscores this view.”