I've seen news articles saying that "State law isn't specific about how a governor's appointee should be confirmed."
That is completely false.
Filling a vacancy in the Alaska Legislature is actually pretty straightforward.
Here are the applicable statutes, with the pertinent text marked in blue, and emboldened or italicized for clarity:
15.40.320. Condition and Time For Filling Vacancy By Appointment.
When a vacancy occurs in the state legislature, the governor, within 30 days, shall appoint a qualified person to fill the vacancy. However, if the remainder of the term of the predecessor in office will expire or if a vacancy in the state senate will be filled by a special election before the legislature will next meet, convene, or reconvene, the governor may not fill the vacancy.
AS 15.40.330. Qualification and Confirmation of Appointee.
(a) The appointee shall meet the qualifications of a member of the legislature as prescribed in Sec. 2, art. II of the state constitution, shall be a member of the same political party as that which nominated the predecessor in office, and shall be subject to confirmation by a majority of the members of the legislature who are members of the same political party which nominated the predecessor in office and of the same house as was the predecessor in office. If the predecessor in office was not nominated by a political party or if no other member of the predecessor's political party is a member of the predecessor's house of the legislature, the governor may appoint any qualified person. If the appointee is not a member of a political party, the appointment is not subject to confirmation. If the appointee is a member of a political party, the appointment is subject to confirmation as provided by this section for the confirmation of political party appointees.
(b) A member of a political party is a person who supports the political program of a party. The filing for office of a candidate as an independent or no-party candidate does not preclude a candidate from being a member of a political party. Recognition of an independent or no-party candidate as a member of a party caucus of members of the legislature at the legislative session following the election of the independent or no-party candidate is recognition of that person's party membership at the time filings were made by party candidates for the preceding general election.
AS 15.40.350. Procedure Upon Rejection.
If an appointment is rejected, the governor, within 10 days, shall appoint another qualified person as provided in AS 15.40.330 , who shall also be subject to confirmation, as provided in that section.
So... translated, here it is:
Sarah had to appoint a Democrat to fill the vacated Senate seat. That appointment is subject to confirmation by the Democratic Senators. The Senate Democrats chose to invoke the confirmation process outlined in AS 15.40.330, and failed to confirm Tim Grussendorf. Frankly, when Tim re-registered as a Democrat, or if he really is a Democrat, is immaterial. The fact of the matter is, he was NOT confirmed.
What the Senate Democrats did followed both the letter and intent of the law. There is NO statutory authority allowing Sarah to require a vote of the full Senate.
Now, according to that law, Sarah has 10 days from the rejection of Grussendorf to appoint another person.
Except she doesn't want to, and is throwing a tantrum. Citing a 1987 legal opinion, Caribou Barbie said the decision wasn't valid "because it happened behind closed doors and only among the Senate Democrats."
Sarah, I refer you to AS 15.40.330.
Additionally, Sarah, whatever opinion espoused by Wayne Anthony Ross (WAR) carries no more weight than any other attorney... perhaps not even as much. WAR is a flamboyant figure, but it's apparent he hasn't done any real research on this matter, just opted to hand a sound bite to the press.
After this episode of attempting to usurp the Senate's authority, good luck with WAR's confirmation, too.
My guess is that if you do not make a new appointment in ten days, you probably will find yourself embroiled in a lawsuit, filed by the Juneau Democratic Party, and joined by the Senate Democratic Senators, and perhaps even the entire Senate.
If you were my child, Sarah, I would send you to your room until you learned how to behave.