Protesters gather outside the Palmer courthouse on March 15.

Scores of Alaskan protesters braved freezing temperatures and howling winds to gather outside courthouses across the state in protest against recent actions by the Alaska Supreme Court to limit citizen grand juries’ investigative powers.

The March 15 demonstrations unfolded in Anchorage, Kenia, Mat-Su, Juneau, Fairbanks and elsewhere with the goal of raising awareness of a rule change promulgated by the Alaska Supreme Court late last year, which curtails the independence of grand juries to identify and investigate corrupt government officials and judges.

Nearly 30 people stood outside the Anchorage Nesbitt Courthouse in frigid temperatures. Another 25 to 30 protested at the Kenai courthouse, and nearly a dozen showed up in Palmer.

Organizers said the gatherings were peaceful with protesters holding signs and passing out information to passersby about how the Alaska Supreme Court quietly altered the rules governing grand juries.

Prior to the protests, organizers notified the courts and Alaska State Troopers that they would be peacefully assembling. According to participants, their interactions with law enforcement were cordial and there were no arrests.

Protesters gather outside the Kenai courthouse on March 15.

The latest protest follows on the heels of regular and growing gatherings outside the Kenai Courthouse, which have occurred for much of the past year.

Controversy came to a head after the Alaska Supreme Court issued an order, effective Dec. 1, 2022, which rewrote the official rules governing citizen grand jury rights. In particular, the new rules placed new restrictions on the ability of grand juries to investigate and indict corrupt public officials, while limiting how citizens can appeal to grand juries for justice, and suggesting that jurors’ investigative authority does not extend to individual court cases or queries into why the Department of Law may have declined to prosecute particular cases.

Spearheaded by judicial reform activist David Haeg, the initial rallies in Kenai focused on Alaska’s only judge investigator for the last 34 years, Marla Greenstein, who serves as executive director of the Alaska Commission on Judicial Conduct. This past summer a Kenai grand jury issued a subpoena for Greenstein.

As Haeg has repeatedly noted, Greenstein has conducted roughly 8,000 judge investigations over the past four decades. Haeg claims to have strong evidence that she has falsified official investigations and certified documents to keep corrupt judges on the bench.

An Anchorage protesters speaks to the media during a March 15 demonstration outside the Nesbitt Courthouse.

According to Haeg, the new grand jury rules appear to directly conflict with what Alaska’s Constitutional Convention delegates intended for grand juries when they stated,  “The power of grand juries to inquire into the willful misconduct in office of public officers, and to find indictments in connection therewith, shall never be suspended.”

In addition to restricting grand jury investigative powers, Haeg points out that the new rules also prohibit citizens from directly appealing to grand juries for justice, which is one of the body’s main functions.


— Alaska Grand Jurors’ Association: Contact David Haeg at or (907) 398-6403 cell/text. Weekly meetings take place every Saturday, 8 p.m. via Zoom (Meeting ID: 821-4574-5893, Passcode: 693100). For more information visit or

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Statewide protests oppose Alaska Supreme Court’s restrictions of grand jury rights

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 20 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • Lobo says:

    I thought that Grand Jury rights, and limitations were based upon law .. Not “rules” invented by the judiciary.

    • Lobo says:

      The issue, it seems, has some lengthy subjects of discovery. State, and Federal Grand Juries have some differences in limitations. The 5th, and 14th. amendments also come into play. The Grand Juries go back to the 14th. century, and the description of judicial roles do as well.!/amendments/5/essays/146/grand-jury-requirement Having read a lot of this article, I think it’s interesting. However, in a case where the judiciary acts in a manner to cover it’s own malfeasance, I think the people have a right to object.

  • Richard Eide says:

    Can you blame public officials for not wanting to be under the Grand Jury’s microscope. Heaven forbid a system of checks and balances.

  • Elizabeth Henry says:

    If you look at the original Alaska grand jury handbook and compare to the current it does appear that autonomy and abilities for current grand juries have been reduced.

  • Ruth Ewig says:

    I was one of 4 of us to peacefully protest at the Fairbanks Courthouse. Originally 20 were contacted but part had to work and the others did not want to come out at minus 8 and an additional wind chill at 8 am. We were interviewed by Alex from Channel 13 news and Carmen Durham explained the situation.
    Simply stated like any criminal, the judges do not want to be accountable or caught making unlawful decisions but they want to do whatever they want without getting their hand slapped. Their decision-making is not based on our US Constitution, or the Alaska State Constitution. The five up for impeachment are exhibiting a rebellion against accountability and instead an unprecedented lawlessness. Their public statement in response to this protest showed their lack of interest in correcting their mistakes or improving. Their press release proved once again that they need to be removed. They stated that one person is having the problem not” We the People”. Judge Greenstein has been involved in criminal activity. The other judges have ignored Governor Dunleavy’s executive power to make line-item vetoes. Judges have blocked bills passed by the legislators to stop abortion in this state, ruling that making abortion illegal is unconstitutional. Judges have approved Rank Choice Voting (RCV) for Lisa Murkowski, which should have been stopped because of its favoritism. Others in the judiciary hierarchy have blocked Conservative and Christian efforts on behalf of justice over many decades.. One judge removed the requirement of using an ID when voting during COVID,. These are just a few of the runaway judicial decisions over the past decades, hence, a grand jury is needed for oversight.
    Just who do these judges think they are while enjoying the privileges of living in a a Republic? Our Founders created a system of checks and balances having experienced other authoritarian governments in Europe, Alaskan judges place themselves above the rule of law ignoring laws that do not “work” for them. Keep praying God is powerful.

  • DaveMaxwell says:

    Everyone relying on the written rules! I believe in the written rules as well as many of you reading this. When the power lands in the hands of dictates, we do understand don’t we that they don’t give a rats *** about complying to rules written or not! This battle like so many others we are facing today is not going to be won sitting in, standing out or up, calling your who cares legislators, etc. These are times of costly actions! There is no easy road anymore. When the enemy is determined to win even if he has to burn the town down, we will not make headway until we outsmart, outdo, and determine with all we have one vision of victory, and leave no place for the enemy to hide! There is a path to victory but it will cost you a great deal more than a simple sit in!

  • Friend of Humanity says:

    I want to thank all of the people who attended these protests across the state despite the cold, winter weather. God bless the People of Alaska who are fighting to keep our state’s sovereignty on all fronts!

  • Neil DeWitt says:

    So here we have it. What we going to do now? How is going to collect enough money to go to the Supreme Court and lodge a complaint? This is better than a soap opera on tv. I’ll be watching and reading.

  • Crusty says:

    Folks are not only upset at corrupt judges they are also mad that the court wants to basically protect corrupt judges. Dystopian as ever, but not surprising for Alaska. These courts continue to spiral and double down. They are basically derelict. A predictable result of the leftist mob in charge of Alaskas judiciary.

  • Penny Johnson says:

    That’s me in the blue on the right. Become a citizen activist! Next up: RCV petition signatures gathering in the Talkeetna area. After that, Cafecito Bonito drag queen protest. Show up people! It’s easier than worrying about it and doing nothing!

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