In a three-branched republic like ours, what do you do with an out-of-control branch of government?  One tool at your disposal is impeachment.

So, what is impeachment?

According to Oxford, “impeachment” is probably a corruption of the Latin “impedicare” – to ensnare, fetter, or entangle by foot.  That jives with what America has just seen play out with former President Trump’s two impeachment trials, and what the English Parliament used to topple the Stuart Monarchy in the 1600s.  No one regards the impeachment process as a means of addressing criminal activity; rather, it is, and has always been, a political weapon.

Perhaps surprisingly, that is exactly the opinion of the Framers of Alaska’s Constitution.

George McLaughlin: “most impeachment proceedings, historically, have not been judicial proceedings, they have been political.”

Steve McCutcheon: “we have two devices which should protect the public: one is impeachment by legislature, and another is by joint address.”

Seaborn Buckalew: “Impeachment is not like a criminal trial; there is no imprisonment or anything, it just provides a method of getting rid of a corrupt official.”

John Hellenthal: “You could impeach the man if he just flagrantly disregarded your constitution.”

Ah, flagrant disregard of Alaska’s Constitution.  That’s never happened before, and certainly not in recent memory.  Right?

Article 5, Section 3: “Methods of voting, including absentee voting, shall be prescribed by law.”  Well, the witness requirement for absentee voting was wiped out by Judge Dani Crosby last October, because of the “right to vote” under Article 5, Section 1 of the Alaska Constitution.  But you will look, in vain, for the words “right to vote,” in Article 5, Section 1, or any other section of the Alaska Constitution.  Try it.  Use the “find” function in your internet browser.  It ain’t there.  What is in Article 5, Section 1 is a list of requirements to vote – citizenship, age, residency.

Look, folks.  Who votes – and, as Stalin said, who counts the votes – is at the heart of representative government.  Our state legislature wrote laws prescribing how that should happen.  When an unelected member of the judicial branch decides that an unwritten right trumps the written prescriptions of law, is that a flagrant disregard of our written constitution?  You can read the writing on the wall.

Again, it’s not like the judiciary has never done this before.  Since 1997, the Alaska Supreme Court has an unbroken string of conquests over the will of the legislature regarding abortion.  Yes, abortion.  Like Lincoln said in his Second Inaugural about slavery: “All knew that this interest was, somehow, the cause of the war.” 

Regarding abortion policy, three former Chief Justices of the Alaska Supreme Court have said in dissenting opinions that the high court is “unnecessarily dismissive of the legislature’s role in expressing the will of the people,” and that the high court “should respect the people’s and the legislature’s policy decisions.” 

Whether voting or abortion, the life of Alaska is at issue when the judiciary is permitted to use unwritten rights to trump written laws, or a written constitution.  And, in my opinion, that’s impeachable.

4.1 > Impeachable Offenses

Mario Bird
Mario Bird is the Legal Analyst for the Alaska Watchman. He practices law in Anchorage where he works with clients and other law firms on behalf of freedom and religious causes, including the Alliance Defending Freedom.


  • Allison Ellis says:

    Nice work here Mario! I hope it helps open the eyes of so many who have had theirs shut for so long.

  • Ed Martin Jr says:

    Mario, Great commentary , although, impeachment comes upon the political will & whim of displeasure regrettably , instead of political survival or constitutional protection ! If Alaska had a “BONDED” public official the “action on a Bond would be the peoples impeachment for any unconstitutional act or malfeasance in office!
    Many States have this requirement in statute but is absent here in Alaska, due to the reason that we allow it ! The saying “no good deed goes unpunished” applies here !
    The one responsible to carry out the law by duty has this to say about it quote ” Kelly Tshibaka [ We have not issued or had officials post bonds because of the practice of having a state insurance policy. How are we protecting citizens? The Governor has started oversight and accountability through the DOA’s O&R unit. But I think you already knew those answers.] ! ASK YOURSELF IS THIS REASON FOR IMPEACHMENT?

  • 1Katahdin says:

    You call this legal analysis? Sounds more like your team didn’t win so now you want to fire the referee.
    Try this:
    “Article 5 – Suffrage and Elections § 1. Qualified Voters
    Every citizen of the United States who is at least eighteen years of age, who meets registration residency requirements which may be prescribed by law, and who is qualified to vote under this article, may vote in any state or local election.”
    If a law composed under Art. 5 Sec. 3, or the application thereof, violates this overarching principal then of course it is appropriate for the Supreme Court of Alaska to rule on it. As an example, if the legislature passed a law saying you had to be 20 years old to vote, the Supreme Court would void that law immediately. Another example. If the state passed a law saying that an absentee ballot had to be postmarked from the post office of the voter’s residence, that too would likely be voided as it violates the entire premise of absentee voting. In this case, deciding that risking one’s own health and the wellbeing of the entire community during a deadly pandemic by requiring a witness signature also violates the right to vote contained in Art 5. Sec 1. is an appropriate use of the court’s discretion. You might not like the answer, but your attempt to discredit the authority in the first place by threatening impeachment is juvenile.
    Face it, you either want every qualified resident over 18 to be freely able to vote, you are promoting voter suppression to keep your side in the game when demographics are against you, or you have some other hidden agenda and rationalizing impeachment is a smoke screen to further your hidden agenda.

  • G Aleution says:

    Fraud is criminal. Offenses against mankind is criminal. Breaking our guaranteed form of government the confederate republic is treason which is criminal. There are no fines for that: life in prison or gallows, shooting, or injection. Jocularity about quality of oathtakers malfeasance culminating in illegal group activity is inappropriate even in Alaska.

  • G Aleution says:

    MIlitary tribunals have jurisdiction over unlawful overthrow of a representative republic guaranteed form of government in all 50 states. That is the process that is due.