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Alaska court sides with Dunleavy in appointments dispute

Last Updated Apr 8, 2021 at 4:41 pm EDT

JUNEAU, Alaska — The Alaska Supreme Court on Thursday sided with Gov. Mike Dunleavy, ruling that the state constitution requires legislators to decide on gubernatorial appointments in a joint session.

The court also struck down a provision of law dealing with appointments as unconstitutional, saying that appointments requiring confirmation remain in effect until the legislature acts on them in joint session.

The court, in a brief order, reversed a ruling by Superior Court Judge Philip Pallenberg from February that found Dunleavy was prohibited by law from making recess appointments of the same people lawmakers had failed to confirm.

The case was brought against Dunleavy in December by the Legislative Council, composed of House and Senate leaders. State attorneys, on Dunleavy’s behalf, appealed Pallenberg’s decision to the Supreme Court, which heard arguments earlier this week.

A full opinion was expected to be issued later.

Becky Bohrer, The Associated Press

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