Justice

This screenshot from the website of the Alaska Court System shows Representative-elect Jennie Armstrong testifying Thursday, Dec. 22, 2022, during an evidentiary hearing. Armstrong is defending against a lawsuit that alleges she is ineligible to serve in the Alaska Legislature. (Screenshot)

Judge upholds Anchorage Democrat’s eligibility after legal challenge from defeated Republican

BY: - January 9, 2023

An Alaska Superior Court judge has ruled against a challenge to Rep.-elect Jennie Armstrong’s eligibility, clearing the way for the Anchorage Democrat to take office when the Legislature convenes Jan. 17 in Juneau. “Based upon the subjective and objective evidence presented at trial and the credibility of the witnesses, the court finds that Armstrong meets […]

The Boney Courthouse in downtown Anchorage, across the street from the larger Nesbett Courthouse, holds the Alaska Supreme Court chambers. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska Gov. Dunleavy appoints two new judges to Anchorage Superior Court

BY: - January 7, 2023

Gov. Mike Dunleavy appointed a public advocate and a private-practice attorney to two vacant seats on the Anchorage Superior Court, his office announced Friday. Laura Hartz, a 2005 graduate of the University of Oregon School of Law, and Christina Rankin, a 2002 graduate of the Syracuse University College of Law, were appointed by the governor […]

Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, speaks on the floor of the Alaska House of Representatives on Monday, May 2, 2022, at the Alaska State Capitol in Juneau. (Photo by James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

No appeal to Alaska Supreme Court in disloyalty-clause case that confirmed Eastman’s eligibility

BY: - January 3, 2023

The Alaska Supreme Court will not have a chance to rule on the case of a legislator accused of violating the state constitution’s disloyalty clause, clearing the way for him to take office. On Tuesday, Matanuska-Susitna Borough resident Randall Kowalke said he will not appeal a lower-court defeat to the state’s high court, citing the […]

The U.S. Capitol (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

Private legislation signed by Biden ends legal limbo for former Alaska resident

BY: - December 29, 2022

A former Alaska resident once threatened with imminent deportation to Mexico because of a paperwork glitch involving her adoption as a newborn has now been granted permanent resident status and a path to citizenship. Rebecca Trimble is the subject of private legislation that was championed by the Alaska Congressional delegation and signed into law by […]

This screenshot from the website of the Alaska Court System shows Representative-elect Jennie Armstrong testifying Thursday, Dec. 22, 2022, during an evidentiary hearing. Armstrong is defending against a lawsuit that alleges she is ineligible to serve in the Alaska Legislature. (Screenshot)

Judge hears arguments challenging Anchorage Democrat’s legislative eligibility

BY: - December 24, 2022

In an Anchorage courtroom on Thursday, Democratic Representative-elect Jennie Armstrong and her husband described a romantic trip to Chena Hot Springs and a tarot reading in May 2019 that convinced her to stay in Alaska. Facing a lawsuit that alleges she failed to live in Alaska long enough before running – and winning – an […]

Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, speaks on the floor of the Alaska House of Representatives on Monday, May 2, 2022, at the Alaska State Capitol in Juneau. (Photo by James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

Oath Keepers seek to overthrow government, judge says, but First Amendment protects Eastman

BY: - December 23, 2022

An Anchorage Superior Court Judge has ruled that Wasilla Republican Rep. David Eastman’s membership in the Oath Keepers does not violate the Alaska Constitution’s disloyalty clause because of First Amendment protections for free speech. The decision, which may be appealed, means Eastman may continue serving in the Alaska Legislature. Eastman was re-elected in November. In […]

Cook Inlet waves roll onto the beach at Kenai on Aug. 14, 2018. The Biden administration's draft five-year offshore oil and gas leasing plan proposes a single sale in federal waters of Cook Inlet an no other lease sales in federal waters off Alaska. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Lawsuit adds new twist to controversial end-of-year Cook Inlet oil and gas lease sale

BY: - December 22, 2022

A canceled but subsequently revived oil and gas lease sale in federal waters off Alaska is being challenged by a coalition of environmentalists. In a lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Anchorage, the environmental groups said the Biden administration had failed to adequately evaluate the impacts of next week’s lease sale offering 958,202 […]

Eastman eligibility trial concludes after a week of testimony on Oath Keepers’ views

BY: - December 21, 2022

The weeklong legislative eligibility trial of Wasilla Republican Rep. David Eastman ended Wednesday with attorneys delivering their closing remarks and Judge Jack McKenna pledging to deliver a verdict as soon as possible. Eastman and the Alaska Division of Elections were sued in July by Randall Kowalke, a Matanuska-Susitna Borough resident who claims that Eastman’s life […]

In this screenshot taken from the website of the Alaska Court System, John Eastman, a legal adviser to former President Donald Trump, swears an oath before testifying Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022, in the eligibility trial of Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla.

At Alaska trial, Oath Keepers founder says group was acting in ‘counter-revolution’

BY: - December 20, 2022

Stewart Rhodes, founder of the Oath Keepers, testified Tuesday during the eligibility trial of state Rep. David Eastman that efforts to postpone the certification of the 2020 presidential election were a “counter-revolution,” not an insurrection. “My perspective is that we’re preserving the Constitution, and it’s — I wouldn’t even call it insurrection, I would call […]

This symbol is inside of the Alaska Department of Corrections office on Sept. 7, 2022, in Douglas, Alaska. (Photo by Lisa Phu/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska Corrections reports 18th death of 2022, most on record for past decade

BY: - December 20, 2022

Morris Teeluk, 64, died on Dec. 11 at Goose Creek Correctional Center, becoming the 18th person to die in the state’s prison system this year, according to an Alaska Department of Corrections press release on Tuesday. This is the most in-custody deaths Corrections has seen in the past decade, the time period for which records […]

Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, speaks on the floor of the Alaska House of Representatives on Monday, May 2, 2022, at the Alaska State Capitol in Juneau. (Photo by James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

Oath Keepers founder testifies in defense of Alaska Rep. David Eastman at disloyalty trial

BY: - December 20, 2022

Stewart Rhodes, convicted founder of the Oath Keepers, testified Monday from his Virginia jail cell in the ongoing eligibility trial of Rep. David Eastman, the Wasilla Republican accused of violating the Alaska Constitution’s disloyalty clause.  Called by the defense, Rhodes flatly denied that the Oath Keepers seek to overthrow the U.S. government. Several group members […]

As eligibility trial continues, Eastman defense resembles prior Oath Keepers hearings

BY: - December 17, 2022

As Alaska Rep. David Eastman defends himself against a lawsuit claiming that his membership in the Oath Keepers militia violates the Alaska Constitution, his defense strategy through the first four days of the trial has at times mimicked the unsuccessful legal defense of Stewart Rhodes, the group’s convicted founder. In offering witnesses, exhibits and in […]