In his statement, Miller wrote, in part:
“After careful consideration and seeking the counsel of people whose opinion I respect and trust, I have decided that the federal case must go forward. The integrity of the election is vital and ultimately the rule of law must be our standard. Nevertheless, I have also decided to withdraw our opposition to the certification of the election, ensuring that Alaska will have its full delegation seated when the 112th Congress convenes next month.” Miller added, “This decision will allow Alaskans to focus on bringing fairness and transparency to our elections process without distraction of the certification issue.”
The deadline for Joe Miller to continue his Federal challenge was December 27th. U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Beistline, who is hearing Miller's federal challenge and who initially tossed it back into the state's lap, had already said he would probably lift his order staying certification, allowing Murkowski to assume office on January 5th without losing seniority or leaving the state short a U.S. Senator.
Miller exhausted his state judicial options on Wednesday December 22nd when the Alaska Supreme Court ruled unanimously against him, determining that the state was right to count misspelled write-in ballots for Sen. Murkowki. The justices also found Miller didn't proved his allegations of election fraud.
-- Read 24-page Alaska Supreme Court decision in Miller v. Treadwell HERE.
After the Supreme Court decision, Murkowski campaign manager Kevin Sweeney issued a statement saying, “We expect that Judge Beistline will lift his stay of certification next week and the state can move forward in certifying the election for Senator Murkowski. We also anticipate that Joe will continue to pursue his baseless claims in federal court until his money runs out. In the meantime, Senator Murkowski remains on the job in Washington DC, putting Alaskans above party as promised, and as indicated by her most recent votes this past week.” Miller has come under heavy pressure to discontinue his challenge to the results, with the Anchorage Daily News, the Anchorage Daily Planet, and Dermot Cole of the News-Miner all thinking he should quit.
Miller still wants the results invalidated and a full recount performed. He contends the state violated the election and equal protection clauses of the U.S. Constitution in its handling of the vote count. The law, as expressed in Alaska Statute 15.15.360 (11), calls for write-in ballots to have the ovals filled and the candidate's last name or name as it appears on the declaration of candidacy written in. The state, pointing to case law and to a section of the Alaska Administrative Code, 6 AAC 25.670(b), used discretion in determining voter intent and allowed for ballots with misspellings to be counted toward Murkowski's tally. These two separate references need to be de-conflicted in some manner.