Alaska Supreme Court rules against Miller
December 22nd, 2010
05:35 PM ET
4 years ago

Alaska Supreme Court rules against Miller

(CNN) – The Alaska Supreme Court has ruled against Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller in his appeal, denying his claim that state law was not followed on counting write-in votes and setting up the very likely scenario that write-in candidate, Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, will be certified the winner of the Alaska Senate race.

In the ruling, the Alaska Supreme court affirmed the decision of the superior court, saying, “There are no remaining issues raised by Miller that prevent this election from being certified.”

A spokesman for Miller’s campaign said they were “disappointed” with the decision and are “weighing our options.”

"We are disappointed the Alaska Supreme Court has ignored the plain text of Alaska law and allowed the Division of Elections to effectively amend the state election code without even giving the public an opportunity for notice and comment,” Miller spokesman Randy DeSoto said in a statement.

“We are reviewing the court's ruling and will be weighing our options."

Miller last week filed to appeal a ruling by an Alaska superior court judge which denied his challenge of ballots awarded to Murkowski, who ran as a write-in candidate.

But the Alaska Supreme Court ruling does not mean the election will be certified immediately. First, a federal judge must lift his ban on the certification of Murkowski as the winner. That judge has not allowed any certification until Miller's challenges have gone through Alaska's courts.

If the Alaska Supreme Court decision did not turn out in its favor, Miller's campaign earlier told CNN it's considering taking the fight to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Alaska Division of Elections Director Gail Fenumiai said in an email to CNN that the state is planning to move forward to ask the judge to lift the injunction on certifying the election.

But, she said, they are waiting to see if Miller chooses new choose to file a suit in federal court appealing the Alaska Supreme Court decision. Fenumiai said that Miller has until 9:00 am Alaska time on Monday to file.

A spokesman for Murkowski said the campaign is “elated” by the decision.

“We anticipated today’s decision by the Supreme Court, but are elated nonetheless,” Murkowski spokesman Kevin Sweeney said in a statement. “We expect that Judge Beistline will lift his stay of certification next week and the state can move forward in certifying the election for Senator Murkowski. We also anticipate that Joe [Miller] will continue to pursue his baseless claims in federal court until his money runs out.”

After the election, Miller filed a challenge against the Division of Elections to ensure the state law, which calls for write-in votes to match the name of the candidate, was followed. He has argued that Alaska law does not allow the counting of misspelled names on write-in ballots. However, the Division of Elections set guidelines before counting began that allowed for a voter's intent to be considered when determining whether to count a ballot for a write-in candidate.

Murkowski launched a write-in bid following her loss to Miller, a Tea Party favorite, in the state's August 24th primary.

In the original superior court decisions, a judge ruled that Miller did not provide proof of election official fraud, or that "there would be a sufficient change to the election results if these claims were true."

Murkowski has already claimed victory in the race. The Associated Press called the race for Murkowski last month when she had a 10,328-vote lead over Miller, a figure that includes the 8,159 ballots contested by Miller observers. Not including those ballots, she has a 2,169-vote lead.

Miller has refused to concede despite the projections of Murkowski's win and calls from some Republican leaders asking him to end his bid.

–- CNN's Steve Brusk, Shannon Travis and Jillian Harding contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2010 • Alaska
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. I voted for neither

    Niiiice...

    Merry Christmas Miller. You still lost.

    December 22, 2010 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  2. joanna partakian

    oh thank goodness. our courts can see the lunacy smog hovering about the lunatics. oh when oh when will more smart people run for office?!?

    December 22, 2010 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  3. notthatsara

    ....and I thought the reality show star had "clout"...he's a doner and she's a doner...byebye

    December 22, 2010 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  4. She Won

    Hey Miller, it's time for you to go running out with your tail between your legs and get over it already! Your opponent won Fair and Square and the Supreme Court has acknowledged it. What's your excuse Bubba!

    December 22, 2010 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  5. Meowth

    One of the few good things that has happened to Alaska recently. Even though I'm liberal I have to congratulate Senator Murkowski on winning this. Unfortunately, the list of write-in winners is forever tainted by the name of Strom Thurmond.

    December 22, 2010 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  6. Timeto Moveon

    Another one bites the dust! Couldn't have happened to a better fella!

    December 22, 2010 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  7. NameEllie

    Joe Miller just proved what a complete moron he is. He's nothing but a SORE LOSER!!!!

    December 22, 2010 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  8. Justafleshwound

    Now he'll appeal to the US Supreme Court. Just a few more tax payer dollars to continue an already failed bid for the senate by a guy who cried fiscal responsibility. Wonder how his teaparty supporters feel about him. Perhaps each court should charge him for his time. It's all on Palin's tab anyway. We could get back some of those tax payer dollars spent on cloths and family first class flying.

    December 22, 2010 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  9. Nomo Tea

    Another well-deserved BLOW for the Tea Party!! Yay!

    December 22, 2010 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  10. anotherGDlefty

    There ya go Joe.
    The people of Alaska have spoken.......why won't you listen?

    December 22, 2010 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  11. Bill

    Time for this buffoon to go away. It's over, Mr. Tea Bag.

    December 22, 2010 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  12. Shannon

    see ya Joe, do you get it now, you lost. The people don't want you Joe, fade away.

    December 22, 2010 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  13. anagram_kid

    Being the good fiscal conservative that Joe is, I am sure he will offer to pay for the court's time so tax payers don't have to. /sarcasm off

    December 22, 2010 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  14. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    How many rulings does Miller need before he accepts the fact that he LOST????????

    Miller, go home and try to have a Merry Christmas man. You're turning yourself into a national joke.

    December 22, 2010 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  15. bob

    I'm sure he won't respect this answer and go on to the U. S. Supreme Court. Give it up Miller, the second right person won.

    December 22, 2010 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  16. Dante

    Hey Joe, Don't take no for an answer. Take it to Palin Court and see what she can do for you. I heard Palin is looking for a new lawyer and it looks like you meet her requirements.

    December 22, 2010 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  17. GI Joe

    gIVE it up JOE – the lower 48 just isn't into you and your kind (keep $ARA in alaska with you).

    December 22, 2010 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  18. Pennsylvania Super Patriot Deluxe

    Miller is the typical Tea Party Clown. He is against lawsuits unless it benefits him. He is against the Healthcare Bill, yet felt it was ok to have his family on medicaid so his wife can have a procedure. He is also against gov't assistance for unemployment except for when he needs it.

    He is almost as bad as Michele Bachman who is on the government Farm Subsidy Handout line for a cool $250,000.

    Hypocrit, thy name is Republican

    December 22, 2010 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  19. GOP = Greed Over People

    Too bad this Miller moron is so stupid he had to have the Alaska SC explain basic math concepts to him.

    You are behind by 10,000 even if all 8,000 challenged votes are not counted here is how it works out you mental midget.

    10,000 – 8.000 = 2000 and 2,000 is greater than zero, so you lose numbnuts and Lisa whoever, wins.

    December 22, 2010 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  20. jillib

    Give it up loser! On second thought, I kind of like the new version of Lisa Murkowski, she's shed the party first mantra. It appears she's relishing sticking it to the republican party.

    December 22, 2010 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  21. Jeff

    Who is this Republican Tea Party loser going to cry to next? Sarah Palin? Call the WAAAAAAmbulence.

    December 22, 2010 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  22. Marcus

    But he's going to appeal and appeal and appeal...
    Simply put, he has to keep on doing so to prevent Kurkowski new term to start at the same time of the other senators' term, thus stripping her of any seniority she might have the right to have.

    December 22, 2010 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  23. ThinkAgain

    Miller is such a scumbag. He'll probably keep at this and try to take it to the Supreme Court. Alaska should make him pay the legal fees for all of this nonsense ...

    December 22, 2010 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  24. Bill

    Now go home joe

    December 22, 2010 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  25. Why Do Righties hate "voter intent"?

    Score:
    Lisa M – One
    Sarah P – Nada

    December 22, 2010 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
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