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Alaska Legislature

Judge declines to dismiss challenge to Alaska Legislature session location law

  • Author: Associated Press
  • Updated: November 23, 2019
  • Published November 22, 2019

Rep. Cathy Tilton, R- Wasilla, and Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, right, were some of the state legislators who gathered for a special session at Wasilla Middle School in July. A larger group of lawmakers met in Juneau. (Bill Roth/ADN file photo)

JUNEAU — A judge has declined the state’s request to dismiss a lawsuit challenging Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s authority to call a special session outside the capital of Juneau.

In a written order Friday, Anchorage Superior Court Judge Josie Garton says while the conflict between Dunleavy and lawmakers that led to the lawsuit has been resolved, the law at the heart of the dispute remains in effect. Garton notes special sessions called by governors are not rare.

Plaintiffs Kevin McCoy and Mary Geddes are challenging the constitutionality of a law that allows a governor to call a special session outside Juneau.

Dunleavy called a July 8 special session for Wasilla, which a portion of lawmakers attended. Legislative leaders, however, met in Juneau. Dunleavy later relented and called for a Juneau session.