Just released: Justice John W. Sedwick’s Order and Opinion in the case of Miller v. Carpeneti (3:09-cv-00136-JWS) in which plaintiffs sought to prevent the attorney menbers of the Alaska Judicial Council from taking part in the selection of nominees for the Alaska Supreme Court position being vacated by Justice Robert L. Eastaugh upon his retirement on November 2. The plaintiffs also sought to declare the provisions of the Alaska Constitution which define the composition of the Alaska Judicial Council, as well as related provisions of Alaska Statutes, unconstitutional under the U.S. Constitution.
Judge Sedwick heard oral arguments in the case last Friday, September 11, and issued a bench order dismissing the plaintiffs’ complaint. This is the official written order, along with his opinion which provides the legal reasoning he followed to come to his decision. The opinion itself is 23 pages, but there are lengthy appendices, including the minutes from the Alaska Constitutional Convention which led to the creation of the Judicial Council, Alaska Judicial Council bylaws, the procedure used by the Council in the judicial selection process, and the letter of recruitment for Justice Eastaugh’s position.
Okay, so here it is:
- 9/15/09. “Order and Opinion [Re: Motions at Dockets 4 and 36]” by Judge John W. Sedwick, U.S. District Court of the District of Alaska.
I haven’t read it yet, so no comments at the moment.
Here’s the stuff that came before:
Plaintiffs: Complaint; motion for preliminary injunction
- 7/2/09. Verified Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief (42 U.S.C. § 1983). First version of complaint, with Hinger as first-named plaintiff; hence initial reference to case as Hinger v. Carpeneti. I’d recommend reading the revised complaint dated 7/28/09 rather than this one.
- 7/2/09. Motion for Preliminary Injunction and Memorandum in Support. Read this too: this is the injunction that oral arguments will be heard upon on September 11.
- 7/2/09. Motion for Preliminary Injunction and Memorandum in Support: signature and sample order. This is excerpted from a second copy of the motion from another source, showing the signature of Kenneth Jacobus followed by an attachment with a suggested wording for the order for preliminary injunction.
- 7/15/09. [Document 29]. Response to Motion for Extension of Time to Oppose Plaintiffs’ Motion for Prelminary Injunction. Agreeing to the defense request for additional time prepare its responses.
- 7/28/09. [Document 32]. First Amended Verified Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief (42 U.S.C. § 1983). Miller replaces Hinger as first-named plaintiff, prompting change of case name to Miller v. Carpeneti.
Defendants: Motion to dismiss complaints; opposition to motion for preliminary injunction
- 7/31/09. [Document 36]. Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to F.R.C.P. 12(b)(6). This is just the motion; the arguments are in the next file.
- 7/31/09. [Document 35]. Defendants’ Memorandum in Support of Motion to Dismiss. The Alaska Judicial Council is being defended by Assistant Attorney General Margaret Paton-Walsh of the Alaska Department of Law and Jeffrey Feldman, Susan Orlansky, and Alexander O. Bryner of the law firm Feldman Orlansky & Sanders. Here’s their arguments for why this lawsuit should be dismissed.
- 7/31/09. [Document 34]. Defendants’ Opposition to Plaintiffs’ Motion for Preliminary Injunction. Why the motion for a preliminary injunction should be denied.
Plaintiffs: Response to defendants
- 8/5/09. [Document 38]. Reply to Defendants’ Opposition to Motion for Preliminary Injunction.
- 8/17/09. [Document 42]. Plaintiffs’ Opposition to Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to F.R.C.P. 12(b)(g).
- 8/27/09. [Document 43]. Defendants’ Reply to Opposition to Motion to Dismiss.