State legislatures seem to be increasingly cracking down on their fellow elected officials according to a new report by Ballotpedia, which shows that six of the 31 state legislative censures over the past 185 years have occurred in the past six months. That amounts to 19.3% of all state legislative censures tracked by Ballotpedia – dating back to 1838.

This year’s censures represent the second most in a single year, and 2023 is only half over. The highest number occurred in 1941 when seven Wisconsin senators were all censured for refusing to vote on a piece of legislation.

Alaska State Rep. David Eastman is among the six censures recorded so far this year. The State House voted 35-1 to censure him after he made a remark during a committee meeting about the economic saving that could be realized from the deaths of abused children. A solidly pro-life lawmaker, Eastman’s remark was intended to be understood as an ironic jab at pro-abortion advocates who regularly claim that abortions are more cost beneficial to the state than live births. Eastman’s point, however, was either lost, unwelcomed or misconstrued by most lawmakers who voted to discipline him.

Censures typically serve as a formal rebuke by which legislators can express their disapproval of a colleague’s actions.

“At the state level, it may be accompanied by other actions such as the legislator being removed from committee assignments, but on its own, a censure stands solely as a symbolic rebuke from the chamber,” Ballotpedia explained.

Over the past two-plus centuries, Ballotpedia found that censured lawmakers include 12 Democrats, 11 Republicans, and seven members of other parties.

Eastman is the only officeholder to have been censured twice. The first time was in 2017, when he became the first member of the Alaska House to ever be censured. At that time, the House voted 25 to 14 to punish Eastman for suggesting that some women are glad to become pregnant because they can access state-funded Medicaid to procure abortions. At that time, Eastman was trying to highlight the fact that Alaska uses public funds to underwrite the killing of the unborn, including paying for airfare, accommodations and the actual abortion.

Eastman later apologized for the remarks, but also expressed concern that lawmakers were focusing more on how his comments could be interpreted, rather than the substance of his point.

So far in 2023, Ballotpedia has tracked the censure of three Democrats and three Republicans across five states.

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Nearly 20% of all state legislative censures occurred in 2023

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • Friend of Humanity says:

    Every branch of our government has been infiltrated and the infiltrators are exposing themselves more and more as each day passes. The more they (the evil in our legislature and branches of government) censure representatives like Rep. David Eastman, the more that I know they are doing good work to save God Almighty’s people and they will get my support.

    • Friend of Humanity says:

      Clarification: the more that our reps are censured, the more I know that our reps (like Rep. Eastman) are doing good work to save God Almighty’s people and these reps will get my support.

  • Rep. David Eastman says:

    The view from the front lines today is very different than the account described here. Establishment media paint a narrative of polarization and this article accepts that narrative without question. It is about fifty years out of date.

    It is counterintuitive, but while Americans are certainly experiencing a culture that is incredibly polarized, those in elected office are experiencing the opposite; namely, the concentration of political power into fewer and fewer hands as well as erosion of respect for voters and for individual rights generally.

    The polarization we are seeing within the legislature today has little (nothing) to do with parties and everything to do with standing either with or against the status quo. Even questions are no longer tolerated if they expose the depravity of the status quo. You do your readers a disservice when you accept the narrative crafted by Planned Parenthood and its political surrogates without question. You do the Alaskans I represent a disservice when you put in my mouth statements that were made by others.

  • Friend of Humanity says:

    ‘Taking Action Through The John Birch Society’ posted by The New American
    Video discussion about creating an informed citizenry and how this is vital.