The governor of Alaska has implicitly fired a state lawyer criticizing Trump, according to a judge

The governor of Alaska has implicitly fired a state lawyer criticizing Trump, according to a judge ...

A federal judge has ordered Alaska Governor Michael Dunleavy, a Republican, and his chief of staff to terminate an accomplished state lawyer.

Elizabeth Bakalar, a district judge in Anchorage on Thursday, was fired for violating her free-speech rights, and the state had not proved that her positions, like one calling Trump a "treasonous, semi-literate, lecherous oligarch," had ever impacted her career as an assistant attorney general.

On Friday, Bakalar's attorney, Mark Choate, did not immediately respond to a request for a comment. Nor did Dunleavy's office.

Dunleavy assumed office in 2018 and required at-will state employees to submit formal resignations while explaining why they should be able to keep their jobs. Bakalar, who specialized in election law, was one of only two attorneys in the attorney general's office who was not re-hired, according to court filings.

Tuckerman Babcock, Dunleavy's chief of staff, admitted to having agreed to fire Bakalar because he did not like the tone of her resignation letter and was only vaguely aware of her blog.

Sedwick found on Thursday that Bakalar's strong beliefs were probably the motivation for her termination, while Dunleavy's office "could not have reasonably believed that it was legal appropriate to make political loyalty a requirement of plaintiff's job."

Bakalar was given a summary judgment by Sedwick and agreed to keep him updated within two weeks on additional issues, including the amount of damages she may be paid.

The case is filed in Bakalar v. Dunleavy, a district court in the United States for the District of Alaska, No. 3:19-cv-00025.

Mark Choate of the Choate Law Firm, Adam Hansen of Apollo Law will be interviewed by Bakalar.

Michael Baylous and Peter Partnow of Lane Powell are the defendants.

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