Get yer troopergate case appellate briefs right here!

Briefing is under way in the Alaska troopergate legislative investigation case, previously discussed here. The Christian right extremists who represent the Republican legislators trying to torpedo the investigation have filed their brief, which is available online here (pdf, 50 pages).

The first thing that jumps out is the brief’s length. It’s 37 pages excluding title page, tables, etc. I could have sworn that the Alaska Supreme Court’s order granting an expedited appeal limited briefs to 30 pages. Does anyone know whether the fundies obtained leave to file an extra-long brief? It’s hard to imagine them persuading anyone that seven extra pages were necessary, what with all the orphans in that document.

Section II (starting on Page 13) is also quite the eye-grabber. There, Clarkson & Co. tell us that the injury needed to support standing in Alaska state courts need only be some “identifiable trifle” sufficient for “standing to fight out a question of principle[.]” In addition, Alaska recognizes citizen-taxpayer standing where the case is of “public significance” and the plaintiff is an “appropriate party,” meaning that the plaintiff is not a “sham plaintiff” and is capable of asserting his position competently. If that’s the case — and it surely is, seeing as how a lie on this point would be so easily exposed — standing in Alaska is much broader than it is in other states, and is many orders of magnitude broader than in federal courts.

The huge, honking typo in the point heading on Page 16 is embarrassing, but not nearly as embarrassing as the substance of the arguments. Spending any time at all with the trial court’s opinion will tell you that the judge did in fact accept the averments in the legislator’s complaint as true. The constitutional argument basically boils down to “We have no idea what the Alaska constitutional provision at issue prohibits, but it undeniably prohibits this investigation.”

And here I though that wingnuts favored judicial restraint. C’est la vie, live and learn, etc.

The appellees’ brief is due tomorrow. There will be much midnight oil burnt tonight, as the targets in the appellants’ brief are legion.

Update – 10/07/08: A friend of the court brief filed by some law professors on behalf of of the Republicans is available here (pdf, 27 pages). The Democratic legislators’ brief is here (pdf, 51 pages). Chief Justice Dana Fabe has recused herself (pdf, 1 page) because her husband’s law firm represents one of the supoenaed witnesses. Oral argument is tomorrow, and we’ll probably see a decision come Thursday.

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