By MICHAEL CHAMBERSAlaska Freedom Alliance

“All political power is inherent in the people. All government originates with the people, is founded upon their will only, and is instituted solely for the good of the people as a whole.”Article 1, Section 2 of the Alaska Constitution

In Alaska, a portion of our state constitution sets up an elite selection process to appoint judges which is in direct conflict with Article 1, Section 2 of our State Constitution.

The Judicial Council is the entity which is tasked to select judges and then have them appointed by the governor, thus foregoing the process of any involvement of “We the People.” This body is a direct conflict with our State Constitution as it sidesteps the “Will of the People,” and grants power to a select few.

The Judicial Council is composed of three lawyers seated by the Alaska Bar Association, the sitting Alaska Supreme Court Justice and three members of the public selected by the governor.

Many times, the Judicial Council only forward a few, select nominees to the governor and the governor is tasked with a limited time constraint, by law, to make the selection. This gives, even the governor, very little or NO ability to make a selection. It is a stacked deck which favors the majority on the Judicial Council composed of a majority of members of a private lawyers guild. 

Only after the judges have been approved by the governor do these judges come before “We the People” as a question of retention on the general election ballot, but it should be noted that 99% of all judges up for retention are retained. This is merely window dressing to give an air of voter involvement.

The Missouri Plan promotes the concept that citizens are not equipped with the knowledge to make informed decisions.

In other words, an unelected body of “experts” are better suited to make these decisions with the better interests of “We the People” in mind (as if they have no bias). 

Three Fundamental Principles The Missouri Plan Violates

So, what did Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson say regarding “appointing” a judiciary?

During the general election on Nov. 8, the voters of Alaska will be asked to vote on a Constitutional Convention.

There are a multitude of reasons to affirm a YES vote but if the only reason is to vacate the Missouri Plan and give the responsibility of the judicial branch back to “We The People,” this is reason enough.

Here at Alaska Freedom Alliance we ask you to vote YES and encourage you to get as many of your friends and neighbors to vote YES as well.

Dark money is flooding into Alaska from entities unknown in an effort to get you to vote NO. Is this our decision or the decision of outside monied interests?

Take ownership of what is rightfully yours. Give Alaska back to Alaskans and vote “yes” on Proposition 1.

The views expressed here are those of the author.

Michael Chambers is a founding member of Alaska Freedom Alliance. He was the past chairman of the Alaska Libertarian Party, and currently serves as vice-chair of the Alaskan Independence Party. He also serves as a facilitator for Alaska Covid Alliance which fights for early treatment of Covid and medical freedoms for all Alaskans.

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OPINION: Is Alaska’s method of selecting judges unconstitutional?