Sarah Palin Sued in Federal Court Over Juneteenth Snub, Seeks Public Restitution

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A federal lawsuit was brought against Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin demanding retroactive issuance of the 2007 Juneteenth Proclamation and public restitution.

The focus of this action is to hold Governor Palin accountable and to uphold the integrity of our emancipation holiday

Jazz musician and America's Hot Musician judge Gregory Charles Royal filed a federal lawsuit against Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin yesterday for allegedly violating the law by failing to issue the 2007 Juneteenth Proclamation as set forth by the Alaskan Legislature. The holiday observance, which celebrates the freeing of the last remaining slaves in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865, has been adopted in 29 states and was signed into law in Alaska in 2001. The bill known as HB 100 specifies that the "governor shall issue a proclamation observing the day."

The civil rights complaint for injunction and other "equitable relief" filed in the US District Court for the District of Columbia (case no. 1:09-cv-00428), stems from a prior complaint with the Alaska Personnel Board for the same allegations under the Alaska Ethics Act. According to documents, the board could not take action under the ACT citing such allegations were not due to personal or monetary gain. The complaint also stems from a press conference held at the National Press Club in Washington, DC on October 7, 2008 by Royal who claimed Palin made a racially disparaging comment to him back in 1990 while touring Alaska with the Duke Ellington Orchestra. During that press conference, several representatives of the Juneteenth celebration in Alaska spoke to reporters about their concerns regarding Governor Palin's race relations in Alaska.

Royal, who recently made national headlines as perhaps the first person to successfully use rap in an appellate court brief (, said, "The focus of this action is to hold Governor Palin accountable and to uphold the integrity of our emancipation holiday". "Can you imagine the dangerous precedent of public officials deciding which legal holidays they choose to observe when carrying out their ministerial duties?"

In an emailed response from Governor Palin's Press Secretary Bill McAllister, the governor's office admits the failure by claiming it was a "clerical error". Notwithstanding that according to Black Alaskan leaders such as Gwen Alexander, Palin nor her representatives took part in any Juneteenth celebrations- as was customary of prior governors, Royal states: "This clerical error should then be quite easy to rectify with a retroactive issuance and public apology".

To view the complaint, go to (
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