Joe Miller said he is contemplating what his next step will be now that a federal judge has thrown out his lawsuit challenging write-in ballots in Alaska's Senate race.

"I am disappointed with the federal court's ruling today. The U.S. Constitution's Elections Clause presented the most significant constitutional issue. Specifically, should the courts be required to follow the legislature's standard for the selection of U.S. senators or create their own? My legal team believes that the clear language of the Election Clause as well as precedent support our claims. Thus, we are evaluating the ruling and determining what our next step should be," he said in a statement.

Miller could appeal the decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The Alaska Supreme Court ruled against him last week, leaving the federal court his only option. But a judge dismissed the suit Tuesday afternoon, saying Miller didn't raise any federal issues in his lawsuit that needed to be resolved. The judge wrote that he would not second-guess the state's Supreme Court.

ADVERTISEMENT
The judge also lifted the hold he had placed on the certification of the election, clearing the way for Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann Murkowski​​Democrats make voting rights push ahead of Senate consideration Clyburn says he's worried about losing House, 'losing this democracy' The fates of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump MORE (R-Alaska) to be sworn in with the rest of the 112th Congress on Jan. 5. That means Murkowski, who will be starting her third term, will not lose any of her seniority. 

Miller beat Murkowski in the August GOP primary but lost to her in the November election.

Murkowski was headed out of state Tuesday for a family vacation when she heard the news, according to the Anchorage Daily News. She called the newspaper from the plane.

"This is pretty great news," she said. "It means that I can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that next week Alaska will have two senators in the United States Senate and there would not be any lapse that could have happened had certification been held up very much longer."

Murkowski, who joked earlier that she hadn't had any champagne yet, said it might finally be time.

"I have had a bottle of champagne in just about every refrigerator where I have visited over this Christmas holiday, and I haven't been able to release that cork yet," she said.