Alaska courts Archives - Alaska Watchman
 

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The Alaska Legislature’s latest operating budget, approved March 29 and sent to Gov. Mike Dunleavy for his signature, once again clearly bans any state funding of abortion, except in rare cases. As in past years, the budget includes money for the Department for Health and Social Services, the branch which has distributed money to pay for abortion through state Medicaid funds. The Legislature, fully within its guaranteed constitutional powers, has unequivocally stated that “no money...

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We’re in the midst of a pandemic, our economy is in turmoil, and Gov. Mike Dunleavy and many other state officials are working around the clock in crisis-management mode. No matter: while the bombs are falling, the Alaska Supreme Court held a March 25 hearing on whether a politically motivated recall campaign against the governor should be allowed to move forward. Even when we lived in normal times, the recall allegations never passed the straight-face...

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The Alaska Supreme Court will hear oral arguments at 1:30 p.m. today (March 25) on the merits of the recall campaign against Gov. Mike Dunleavy. Proceedings will be in Anchorage’s Boney Courthouse. Chief Justice Joel Bolger will sit this case out, having recused himself on March 2 after making statements earlier that may cause a reasonable person to wonder whether he could impartially rule on the legal merits of the recall. Oral arguments will be...

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The Alaska Supreme Court has received an unusual amount of criticism lately, as it grapples with litigation challenging the effort to recall Governor Dunleavy. Chief Justice Joel Bolger, speaking at the 2019 Alaska Federation of Natives convention, said, “…we are facing a great deal of political pressure.” Under different circumstances, I might empathize with his plight. However, the court’s troubles are mostly self-inflicted. When judges impartially interpret the law, we tend to leave them alone....

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A federal judge in Alaska ruled last Friday that the state pay for the gender reassignment surgery of a public employee – Jennifer Fletcher – a man who identifies as a woman. Fletcher is a state legislative librarian in Juneau. The ruling from U.S. District Court Judge H. Russel is based on an interpretation of the federal 1964 Civil Rights law that bans sex discrimination. While Russel’s ruling may be appealed, LifeSiteNews reports that the...

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A proposed constitutional amendment stating that nothing in Alaska’s Constitution can be interpreted by the courts as granting a right to abortion is set for a fifth public hearing on Friday, March 13 in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The measure, SJR 13, is sponsored by Sen. Shelley Hughes, R-Palmer. It passed out of the Senate Health & Social Services Committee last week after two lengthy public hearings and more than 200 pages of written comments....

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More than 100 people signed up to testify on a bill that would amend Alaska’s Constitution to clarify that nothing in the Constitution can be interpreted as granting a right to abortion or public funding of abortion. The law would not ban abortions outright, but rather clarify that judges cannot construe the law so as to find a right to abortion where there is none. The Feb. 26 hearing in the Senate Health & Social...

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Alaska Chief Justice Joel Bolger’s “State of the Judiciary” address, his recent AFN speech and the video posting where he asks for partisan letters, articles and columns, is a vanilla-flavored foray into raw, unvarnished lobbying, unworthy of judicial conduct. If Alaska’s legislators were not already part of the problem and actually understood their own interests, and the state and federal constitutions they are sworn to uphold, they might think clearly enough to realize that all of...

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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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