Alaska Senate Battle Continues as Joe Miller Gets Respite from Federal Judge

Nov 22, 2010 1:26pm

ABC News' Huma Khan reports: Sen. Lisa Murkowski declared herself a winner last week, but the end is nowhere in sight for the bitter battle being fought among Republicans in the Alaska Senate race.

On Friday, a federal judge in Alaska granted Joe Miller a temporary injunction to halt official vote certification and deferred the matter to a state court.

Miller, who has vowed to continue fighting, has to take up the matter with the state court by today.

"The results of this election shall not be certified until the legal issues raised therein have been fully and finally resolved,” Federal District Judge Ralph Beistline wrote.

The Tea Party backed candidate had argued that the Alaska elections division was overstepping its constitutional boundaries by deciding that write-in ballots that were misspelled could still be counted if they showed voter intent.

Miller last week demanded a hand count of all ballots, including his own ones that were counted electronically.

The Sarah Palin-backed candidate has the support of Senate heavyweights like Jim DeMint, R-S.C., who through the Senate Conservatives Fund, called on Republicans to support Miller’s recount campaign.

“Joe Miller needs the help of freedom-loving Americans who recognize the importance of winning this race,” DeMint, chairman of the fund, wrote. “Joe Miller will stand up to the big spenders in both political parties and help stop the massive spending, bailouts, and debt that threaten our future.”

The relationship between Murkowski and her fellow Republicans has gotten off to an icy start. Murkowski is a vocal opponent of Republican efforts to end earmarks, claiming that it would turn over federal spending to government bureaucrats and “goes against the Constitution's mandate that says the power of the purse lies with the legislative branch of government.”

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