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    The danger & opportunity of an Alaska Constitutional Convention (part 2)

    By AlaskaWatchman.com

    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.

    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.

    Click here to support the Alaska Watchman.

    Bob Bird
    Bob Bird
    Bob Bird ran for the United States Senate in 1990 and 2008. He is a past president of Alaska Right to Life, a 43-year Alaska resident and a retired public school teacher. His has a passion for studying and teaching constitutional history, both Alaska’s and the United States. He lives on the Kenai Peninsula and is currently a daily radio talk-show host for the Bird’s Eye View on KSRM in Kenai, Alaska. He is also a regular speaker, both locally and around the country, on the Shroud of Turin, which is widely believed to be the burial cloth of Christ.

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    17 Comments

    1. 1st and foremost Alaskans must realize is that the convention is run by your elected officials and right now not 1 is trust worthy they go in you don’t and ament the constitution and you have nothing to say about it the Nations founders warned heavily against it!!!

    2. The common freeman may be a dunce but he may also have common sense as did the formers of the US Constitution. This is a natural progression in Alaska. The state Constitution should authenticate the number of departments. The legislature may not add departments and agencies. Our government defends and promotes the public good. It doesn’t dictate the public good. Our departments budgets have blossomed into a mass of bureaucracy that has become too large, unwieldy and not sustainable. Our servants should not be reaching out to foreign forms of government and accepting partnering agreements. Every state should gladly return to the guaranteed republic form of government.

    3. Our Convention delegates are selected by us. If our current servants actually wanted to represent us and had been doing so we could select them. But in today’s experiences probably not: Must be thirty five years old, have invested $100,000 in Alaska, and spent the preponderance of his live in Alaska. Must have matriculated high school and have no other conflicting loyalty oaths like a monarchy. Must not be an undeclared foreign agent under penalty of treason.

    4. The people for a con-con would be extremely happy. Those opposed would hate it. The question is, Why can’t we follow the law on the books for the PFD? We all agreed to it long ago. 10 years ago they tried to change it and failed. Now it’s the big push again to change it. GREED is the reason. Walker allowed the legislators to get their GREEDY hand on it once and now ever since, every year it’s the same argument. How much can they take with out the people yelling to loud! We need to stop the legislators. They need to run our state like a house hold. If you don’t have the money special interest groups don’t get what they want. Its that simple people. Live within your means!

    5. Adopt Masons Manual for Rules since many united states are following it. Therefore, everything to be changed and presented must be done in petition format presented to the Second Constitutional Convention of Alaska not the judiciary branch of government. Establish a quorum to proceed lawfully. The United States had several US Constitutions. We should stay very close to the US Constitution and Declaration of Independence. It is our guaranteed form of government which we have always hoped on. And of course the Magna Carta the greatest charter of all. Some guidances might help keep the peace.

    6. WE Have to get Congressional approval I believe for any convention through the Secretary of State and after we formalize our new “articles”. Congress must approve because we accept their Constitutions as well as our own. For instance Texas has a very strong anti monopoly provisioned Constitution which is great to have in our friendly union. Everyone please know you may have a very weak knowlege of our US and State Constitution and brush up every way that you can. It is duty.

    7. Just give us our full PFD, End of Story
      Then the next year and the next year, its already a law. No new laws, are required.
      Yes, we need to be Very Loud on this issue. A full PFD

      • I agree. FOLLOW THE LAW!!!! Also the money you stole from us earlier. PLUS The INTEREST YOUR STEALING!!!!

      • Good luck with that. The voters spoke in 2018 and 2020, and the legislature ignores them. Put the PFD in the Constitution. If the legislature refuses to propose such an amendment, our only recourse is a Convention. It will propose, the people will dispose.
        If you don’t trust the people, get out of politics.

    8. Is it possible, Bob, to have sheriffs, and keep our Borough system of government? Sarah Vance says the expense of transforming our boroughs into counties, so we can have sheriffs, is prohibitive. I am sure she is right, in the budget crisis climate we are in. But we NEED the protection from the Feds and other threats by having sheriffs. Or maybe we establish some other protective authority role to create a firewall between us vulnerable citizens and the gestapo DC police or FBI. I agree that the situation with the Heuper’s was shameful, and could easily happen again, and for new reasons….like raids on unvaccinated citizens’ homes, or radicalized conservatives, Christians refusing to not assemble. I know of at least one Alaska friend who was in DC on the 6th who is getting calls from the FBI, who is looking for a certain other Alaskan they think was in the Capital building ( they examined this person’s cell phone history to see who was being called on that day and found this wanted person on the call history). And what will they do to this wanted Alaskan once they find them? A raid, of course, and probably arrest, and hauled away to a DC jail. Yes, sheriffs, or some citizen’s protective authority is a GOOD idea!

      • I wanted Sheriffs in the Matsu. Per the Mayor at the time and Manager, we would first have to become a first class borough, then we could go with a Sheriff. No stomach to do so sadly.

    9. What will happen is a systemic stripping of land, wealth, cultures, histories, health, privacies and rights to travel, locomotion, sunlight, food, religion, human dignity with provincial low information toadies performing the privileges. Then, we’ll see why all should have highly treasured God’s Kingdom which offers so great a salvation it should not be neglected.

    10. I was hoping for this segment a better understanding on who will be on the Convention. Is it an elected position? Does the Legislature appoint? What is the method. If it is up to the legislature, that scares me since we have such a number of socialists!

    11. District gathering. GRASS ROOTS AS IT GETS. Put in three names per person attending. Have an established quorum, the hard part. Two delegates chosen and one back up. Itemize district issues. If you want to put in your legislators name put his name in. May be he’ll be drawn. A change in Constitution is a new creation document. I would not put in our legislators. THERE IS INDICATION THEY have an over interest in our loss of liberties, always dreaming up new thought crimes is highly favored now.

    12. The people, not the judiciary, is sovereign here in ALL political matters not the judiciary. Our form of government has three pillars
      If you start seeing four pillars there is something wrong. It is sharia or foreign forms of government. We have executive (The gov who executes OUR will), legislative who prepares budget appropriates to fund our necessary services, snow removal, and writes by-laws that apply to THEM, and judiciary to make sure court rules are followed. That’s it. If they are trading places and adding things it may need constitutional examining.

    13. Michael Coons: I am reading the comments. Please be advised that Parts III & IV will answer your very important and legitimate concern about the METHOD that delegates would be selected. I limit my essays to 800 or less words rather than one long one in order to allow readers to think and make their own suggestions.

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