Federal Judge Throws Out Joe Miller’s AK-SEN Lawsuit — Murkowski To Be Certified

December 29, 2010 4:04 a.m.

A federal judge has dismissed Joe Miller’s lawsuit over the Alaska Senate race, and has lifted his block on Lisa Murkowski’s certification to her Senate seat.Miller suit argued that the Alaska Division of Elections had violated state law by counting misspelled ballots as write-in votes for Murkowski.

The dismissal follows the state Supreme Court’s ruling against Miller, because there are “no remaining issues raised by Miller that prevent this election from being certified.” U.S. District Judge Ralph Beistline upheld the state Supreme Court’s ruling, writing that “generally speaking, the Alaska Supreme Court is the final expositor of Alaska law. That must be the case here.”

Miller said in a press release last night that he is “disappointed” with the ruling because “the U.S. Constitution’s Elections Clause presented the most significant constitutional issue. Specifically, should the courts be required to follow the legislature’s standard for the selection of U.S. Senators or create their own? My legal team believes that the clear language of the Election Clause as well as precedent support our claims.”

“Thus,” he added, “we are evaluating the ruling and determining what our next step should be.”

Judge Beistline had previously blocked the race from being certified until the court issues were resolved. In his latest ruling, he lifted the block, paving the way for the election to be certified on Thursday and Murkowski to take her seat in the new Senate session.

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