When the U.S. Constitution of 1787 was put together, many of its framers thought that it would be good for, at best, 40 years. Perhaps they were right, for it has been amended 27 times, with the 14th amendment sometimes called “The New Constitution” by triumphant liberals. They have a point.
Alaska’s founders knew that conventions and framers cannot think of everything. To find out if a gizmo works, it needs to be wound up and let go. It might fall flat on its face, it might run until it hits a wall, it could be the Energizer Bunny that keeps on going and going. As such, the state’s founders wisely mandated that every 10 years the voters would decide if the State Constitution needed to be fixed or even completely overhauled.
“It’s not that the Constitution has been tried and found wanting, but rather it has been left untried, and found difficult.”
In the upcoming part three of this series, we will discuss many of the dangers and opportunities of a constitutional convention (or con-con). Supposing that voters approve one, how would the delegates be chosen? In what manner? How many? From what districts? What qualifications would be necessary? In what location would they meet? In Article XIII, Sec. 3, the Legislature is encouraged to follow the protocols of 1955, but the founders understood that might not be realistic. As such, they empowered the Legislature to enact statutes to answer those questions.
The dangers are obvious. I myself would never trust a con-con on the national level. A national con-con would likely go the direction that was expressed in a comment from a reader of the previous article:
“This will go the wrong way … the communist Democrats will call the establishment Republicans racist or conspiracy theorists and they [the Republicans] will go to the corner and urinate on themselves, while the Communists change the Constitution to look like Kim Jong Un and Bruce Jenner wrote it.”
…our “conservative” officials cannot summon the courage or the will to halt the runaway judicial branch.
It has been said about the US Constitution: “It’s not that the Constitution has been tried and found wanting, but rather it has been left untried, and found difficult.”
To some degree, the same might be said of Alaska’s Constitution, but there are some things that are so out-of-whack that they must be changed, beginning with the system of the Judicial Council, stacked as it is to have a built-in advantage awarded to the case-law oligarchy, aka The Lawyer’s Guild. This system force-feeds three judicial nominees that the Governor must choose from, with the council’s seven-member panel consisting of three citizens who are always outnumbered by the Bar Association’s four members. When there is a liberal citizen or two on the council, the division is even greater.
Thus, the overthrow of the State Constitution by the supreme and inferior courts goes unchecked. While their recent and long-standing usurpations could be checked through impeachment or executive refusal to enforce their self-aggrandizing decrees, most elected officials have not learned constitutional law properly. And for that matter, neither have the lawyers. As such, our “conservative” officials cannot summon the courage or the will to halt the runaway judicial branch, believing the false premise stated over a hundred years ago by Justice Charles Evans Hughes: “The Constitution means whatever the supreme court says it means.”
A constitution that puts in writing the above points would certainly clarify things for elected officials confronted with a rogue judiciary.
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Now let us turn towards the antiquated system of our Boroughs. Except for Louisiana, where they are called “parishes,” every state in the union has counties. Hawaii and Connecticut, suiting their own quirks of nomenclature, do not have sheriffs. But we have neither counties nor sheriffs.
But that’s over three thousand sheriffs. By Anglo-Saxon common law, the sheriff is the highest authority in the county. No IRS, FBI or BATFE agent can make a move without the permission or cooperation of a local sheriff, elected by, and responsible to, the people. One is given to wonder how the fascist FBI raid visited on the Huepers in Homer this spring, might have otherwise turned out. An elected sheriff is no guarantee of justice, but is far more likely to occur when he comes from the ranks of the people and not the D.C. municipal police, who were also part of that disgraceful raid.
In part three we will present a laundry list of additional reasons for and against a con-con. The author will closely view the “Comments” box, and encourages thoughtful readers to see if they have not already been covered under “Proposed Constitution”, found easily on the Alaskan Independence Party’s website at www.akip.org.
Click here to read part one in this series on whether Alaskans should call a constitutional convention.
The views expressed here are those of the author.