Constitutional ignorance reigns supreme in Alaska, and it would appear that conservative devotion to our state and federal documents is little different than that of the rest of our culture. We insist on doing things the hard way, rather than expending the effort of learning the “principle of subsidiarity,” which means we ought to search for our remedies first with the easier and simpler solutions, as well as working with the local level of government.

Thus, we have well-meaning pro-lifers who believe that we need a constitutional amendment to the Alaska Constitution in order to protect human life. This ignores the opening salvo, which says, right out of the box in Article I, Section 1, “This constitution is dedicated to the principles that all persons have a natural right to life … that all persons are equal and entitled to equal rights … and protection under the law …”

So, dear conservative pro-lifers, why do we insist on passing a constitutional amendment, when that will require a two-thirds vote of the House and Senate, plus a vote of the people? Clearly, we need to merely pass a statute that defines personhood “From conception until natural death,” or words to that effect. As an extra added attraction, you can cite Article IV, Sec. 1, which says, “The jurisdiction of the courts shall be prescribed by law,” so simply add in the personhood amendment, “This statute shall not be reviewable by the judicial branch.”

Most admit that RCV will not be repealed by our State Legislature. Furthermore, any citizen initiative will be vulnerable to not only a dishonest tally but also a rogue judiciary…

Believe it or not, there actually are pro-life legislators who fear exercising that option, simply because, well, someday liberals might want to do the same thing if we ever have a conservative judiciary!

I don’t know about you, but if you were really serious about ending child murder, I would not be losing sleep over that one.

Let’s take another step, and move from prolife issues to Ranked Choice Voting. Right now, we are experiencing an end to honest elections that enjoy the confidence of the people. Most admit that RCV will not be repealed by our State Legislature. Furthermore, any citizen initiative will be vulnerable to not only a dishonest tally but also a rogue judiciary, which will find some convoluted reason to declare the repeal of RCV unconstitutional. Don’t expect the judiciary to put any limits on themselves.

We could and should have saved ourselves a lot of angst if we had an executive who bothered to simply read the Federalist Papers, #78. To quote verbatim, emphasis belonging to the original:

“The judiciary … can take no active resolution whatever. It may truly be said to have neither FORCE nor WILL, but merely judgment; and must ultimately depend upon the aid of the executive arm even for the efficacy of its judgments.”

Now, admittedly this is in reference to the federal constitution, but the principle is reflected even in our own flawed, allegedly “model” Alaska Constitution, with what everyone admits created a strong executive.

…we can begin, together, to think outside the box, and with God’s help, preserve our liberties.

Article III, Sec. 16 reads: [The governor] may, by … proceeding brought in the name of the state, enforce compliance with any constitutional or legislative mandate, or restrain violation of any constitutional or legislative power, duty or right, by any officer, department or agency of the state …”

So, just for starters, the Alaska Supreme Court decision that accepted RCV ballot initiative as allegedly constitutional, ought to have never been enforced by the executive. Simply on its face, RCV violated the legislative mandate that all citizen initiatives must be limited to ONE subject. Instead, it was TWO.

It also violated the right of political parties to choose their own candidates in the primary, and the right of citizens to expect the winner of any office to be the person with the most votes, whether or not that had reached the level of 50 percent.

There are many other violations that the court has force fed us to accept, yet the executive believes the false paradigm, admittedly accepted by most people, including the doltish Mike Pence, who is likely going to run for president. He just said, “We can disagree with Supreme Court decisions, but we can’t disobey them.”

No, Mr. Pence, you have it all wrong. Now, I admit that most people think that, but it is not so. Square that with Federalist #78, then come back and we’ll talk.

And let’s take another quote: “Bob, I don’t doubt your word, it’s just not the way I learned it.”

Yeah, I know. It’s not the way I learned it, either.

Try doing what I did: UN-learn it, and learn it the right way.

We are in a desperate fight right now against an evil that is counting on our constitutional ignorance to continue. For starters, grab Ron Paul’s book “The Revolution,” written over a decade ago, and begin to think – not like a mainstream conservative – but instead as a constitutionalist, so we can begin, together, to think outside the box, and with God’s help, preserve our liberties.

The views expressed here are those of the author.

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No constitutional amendment, no problem. We still can protect Alaska’s unborn & repeal RCV

Bob Bird
Bob Bird ran for U.S. Senate in 1990 and 2008. He is a past president of Alaska Right to Life, a 47-year Alaska resident and a retired public school teacher. He has a passion for studying and teaching Alaska and U.S. constitutional history. He lives on the Kenai Peninsula and is currently a daily radio talk-show host for The Talk of the Kenai, on KSRM 920 AM from 3-5 pm and heard online


  • Steven Chappell says:

    It befuddles me that people do not or have not picked up and read through the Federalist Papers or even done any research into the journals of Congress to see what the actual intent in the Constitution Amendments. People seem to think as eloquently pointed out in this article the Judicial has overstepped its boundaries and not done true justice to the electorate. I have all of the Federalist papers downloaded and review them quite often to understand how the process was derived in the makeup of our Country. It would behoove those who are concerned with the trajectory our state and country to like the author stated unlearn and re-learn the correct way.

  • Clark says:

    If a fetus counts as a seperate person with separate rights, then a pregnant woman could order her fetus removed and deported. Since fetuses have no citizenship, they would automatically count as illegal aliens. Women might even be arrested for getting pregnant without government permission. Because you would be smuggling a person into the country without permission!

    Being inside of another human being without their consent is legally known as RAPE. Dont support laws that would turn babies into rapists!

    • Friend of Humanity says:

      Clark, can you please refine your stand on unborn children? 1. Are you saying that a fetus is counted as a separate person? 2. Are babies outside of the womb considered as a legal Nation state Person? 3. Do you like the idea of a woman getting arrested for becoming pregnant without government permission? 4. Are you saying that a woman pregnant with a fetus in her womb is an automatic rape case?

      • Clark says:

        1. A fetus isn’t a person. To be a person, one must be born and have the breath of life breathed into them from the Lord.
        2. Generally, once born a person becomes a citizen of the country they are born in. A personhood amendment could create all sorts of crazy legal situations. For example, What if a pregnant woman wanted to leave an abusive spouse, but the husband could have her arrested for trying to kidnap their ‘child’. Companies would have to purchase a new kind of insurance because pregnant women would be considered employees, but their fetuses would be considered non-employees. Or you could have pregnant women insuring their fetuses with life insurance policies and then having miscarriages to earn money! Once grown, a child could sue a parent for actions taken while they were a fetus. Pregnant woman could have to pay more for car insurance or they could be arrested for manslaughter if she accidentally crashes and then has a miscarriage. It would be chaos. Its a terrible idea.
        3. No I don’t like the idea. But that is the slippery slope something like this would lead to.
        4. Automatically, no. But a woman can revoke consent for ANYONE to be inside of them. If a fetus is a person, then she can kill it in self-defense if she believes it’s a threat to her life. We let people kill other people constantly in the name of self-defense. How long are you going to make this law to try and stop the chaos? Revoke a women’s right to self-defense or to revoke consent?

        These examples are just off the top of my head. A serious examination would probably show thousands of crazy problems a law like this would create.

        And even IF a majority voted to implement such a law, it would never pass Constitutional muster in court. It would be deemed Unconstitutional just like the gay marriage ban was. It would be an expensive waste of tax-payer dollars.

      • Friend of Humanity says:

        Clark, I have read your responses out loud to my roomies and we are all having a good laugh. Thank you for your thoughtless insight. ? Please refer back to the 12 Rules For Radicals by Saul Alinsky.

      • Clark says:

        Sorry, I don’t need some right-wing talking points to understand how laws work. You are trying to imbue human rights to an organism that, scientifically, isn’t a person. The DNA of all life on earth is like 95% identical. Pigs are 98% identical, which is why drugs are tested on pigs and why pig organs can be transplanted into humans. So why is a person a person, but a pig is not? You tell me. I believe the difference is sentience. People have a will of their own, while we view animals as having only instinct. A fetus has no will of its own. No language, no comprehension, organs that aren’t capable of sustaining life, lungs that can’t breathe air. A fetus is blind and has no beating heart until later on. All it has is similar DNA and extremely rudimentary instinct. Even at 24 weeks, there is still no actual heart beating inside of them. If I described such a creature to you without you knowing this specific context, nobody would call it a person. Arguing that an organism that functions as a parasite with no will or personality of its own is a separate sentient entity, equally deserving of rights at the cost of the mother’s rights?

        Its kinda like arguing that people should be forced to live with tapeworms because they deserve equal rights.

        Nobody disputes that fetuses -potentially- can grow to become people. Nobody wants women to have abortions. They are unfortunate, tragic. But many situations necessitate them. Ectopic pregnancies are extremely common, for example. Rape is very common. Women getting pregnant while addicted to drugs/alcohol or even simply dealing with health problems of their own are common occurrences. Using the power of government to force them to bear unviable or deformed or crack-addicted babies is evil. And its the opposite of a true conservative viewpoint to say that governments should be so big they get to control a persons choices about procreation.

  • James says:

    As soon as RCV “passed”, it was obvious it was here to stay, because we’d be relying on legislators to repeal the very voting system that got them their seats.

  • Lee Mortimer says:

    You may have a point that an initiative be limited to one subject. You said “it was two.” But your referenced link says it’s actually “three separate issues: open non-partisan primaries, ranked-choice voting, and campaign finance reform.” Finance would seem to be a separate component. But open primary/ranked-choice general election is a single reform in which the two component parts are integral and work in tandem to accomplish a common goal.

    As for a “right of political parties to choose their own candidates in the primary, and the right of citizens to expect the winner to be the person with the most votes, whether or not they reached 50 percent”—where do such “rights” come from? If a political party has “a right to choose its own candidates,” then you have described a private organization. Why should taxpayers have to fund a private process to which many are barred from participation? Should not that political party fund its own closed partisan primary?

  • Terry Stires says:

    FoH. I think Clark’s comments are quite thoughtful, not thoughtless. He just got the better of you, that’s all.

    And Clark. I’m an atheist and the child of atheists.
    The Lord never breathed the breath of life into me. I

    • Clark says:

      Terry I am more of a combination of things. I’m Agnostic, but I totally believe in guardian angels, just not necessarily the winged guys with halos. But I was raised Southern Baptist and saved and al that when I was younger. so I can quote the Bible quite well to ignorant people who like to ‘cherry pick’ only the convenient parts.

  • M.John says:

    Bob, you’re right, RCV needs to be repealed, but I sure wouldn’t say it’s “no problem”. – M.John