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Mat-Su residents are meeting this Saturday, Feb. 15, In the first of what will be a monthly meeting to educate and mobilize area Christians to engage politics and culture. Organizer Candy Sunderland said inspiration for the event came on the heels of a past prayer breakfast she attended for Palmer Mayor Edna DeVries in which pastors, politicians and Gov. Mike Dunleavy gathered to pray for elected officials. “Valley pastors and others asked if we would...

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A video (watch below) on the Alaska Bar Association website shows what appears to be an attempt by the chief justice of Alaska’s Supreme Court to enlist lawyers in influencing public opinion on behalf of a lawsuit over which he may ultimately preside. The video reveals Chief Justice Joel Bolger telling members of the Alaska Bar Association to write letters to the editor and post articles on Facebook to counteract what he called “attacks on...

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In his Feb. 12 address to a joint session of the Alaska Legislature, Chief Justice of the Alaska Supreme Court Joel Bolger alluded to the court’s ongoing dispute with Gov. Mike Dunleavy regarding cuts to the judiciary’s budget following high court’s order that Alaska fund elective abortions. He closed his speech saying the courts “must continue to decide cases in accordance with the facts determined by impartial judges and the rule of law based on...

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It could get interesting when the Alaska Supreme Court’s Chief Justice Joel Bolger addresses the full Alaska Legislature this week. He’s set to deliver the “State of the Judiciary” on Wednesday, Feb. 12, at 11 a.m. in the House Chamber in Juneau. It’s been a cantankerous year between the three branches of government and there may be more battles on the horizon. Last summer Gov. Mike Dunleavy slashed $334,700 from the Supreme Court’s budget –...

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Sen. Peter Micciche of Soldotna and Sen. John Coghill of North Pole are now co-sponsors of Palmer Sen. Shelley Hughes’ resolution clarifying that there is no right to constitutional right to abortion in Alaska. Senate Joint Resolution 13 states that nothing in the State Constitution may be “construed to secure or protect a right to abortion” or abortion funding. The resolution is currently in the Senate Health & Social Services Committee. It has yet to...

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While the federal budget will certainly look much different by the time it works its way through Congress, President Trump has proposed a budget that strips federal funding from abortion providers. Sen. Dan Sullivan and Rep. Don Young are generally considered reliable pro-life votes. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, however, is highly regarded by Planned Parenthood for her willingness to break with the Republican party and support public funding of abortion clinics. Released Feb. 10, the president’s...

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It doesn’t matter whether Alaska’s executive branch, legislative branch or the general population is conservative, Alaskans rarely see the appointment of conservative, constitutionalist judges. That’s because none of these groups have much say when it comes to choosing possible candidates to serve on the bench. The real gatekeeper, which determines names the governor can choose from when appointing judges, is the powerful Alaska Judicial Council. This is an unelected, seven-member body made up of three...

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Religion and politics seamlessly merged during the sixth annual Revive Alaska Prayer Conference held at the University of Alaska, Anchorage. Pastors, evangelists and politicians joined members from local churches to pray for spiritual revival in culture and politics. The broad theme was to mobilize believers to transform Alaska from “70% non-religious to 70% Christian.” Under this overarching mission, participants in the Feb. 8-9 event also prayed for the application of godly principles in Alaska politics....

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Hate crime is back in the national and local spotlight following the recent introduction of legislation in both the Alaska Legislature and the U.S. Senate. Senator Lisa Murkowski introduced legislation last week to make it easier for federal prosecutors to prove hate crimes under the 2009 Hate Crimes Prevention Act even when hate is not the sole motivation for a crime. With her proposed “Justice for Victims of Hate Crimes Act” prosecutors would only need...

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A bill aimed at adding “sexual orientation and gender identity” to categories like race, sex, religion, national origin when determining sentencing for hate crimes is set for public testimony on Feb. 6, in the Alaska Legislature. Rep. Andy Josephson, D-Anchorage is the sponsor of House Bill 198. In a statement in favor of his bill he said it was needed because of a “hate crime” which may have occurred last year on the Kenai Peninsula....

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