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Alaska Supreme Court rules that the governor’s COVID-19 appointees are valid

The Alaska Supreme Court has ruled that the governor’s appointees have been allowed to work...
The Alaska Supreme Court has ruled that the governor’s appointees have been allowed to work during the COVID-19 pandemic despite not being confirmed.(KTUU)
Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 1:11 PM AKDT
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JUNEAU, Alaska (KTUU) - The Alaska Supreme Court has ruled that 94 of the governor’s appointees have been allowed to work during the COVID-19 pandemic despite not being confirmed by the Legislature.

The ruling reverses a decision made by a Superior Court judge in February that put actions taken by those appointments between mid-December and mid-January in doubt, including that of acting Commissioner Lucinda Mahoney of the Department of Revenue.

The Supreme Court justices wrote in a brief order released on Thursday that the Alaska Constitution requires lawmakers to hold a joint session with a majority of legislators voting to either reject or confirm the governor’s appointees.

The failure of the Legislature to hold a joint session in 2020 to consider the governor’s appointees did not mean those appointees were rejected, the justices said. The law that suggested that was the case was also ruled unconstitutional by the court.

A full opinion on the court’s decision will be released at a later date.

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