Opinion: Vote against judicial overreach

Alaskans have a rare opportunity to push back against a liberal activist court

  • Saturday, October 31, 2020 9:17pm
  • Opinion

We are pleased to be on the Alaskans for Judicial Reform Statewide Leadership team.

In the 2020 general election, Alaskans have a rare opportunity to push back against a liberal activist court that has thwarted the will of voters for decades.

Susan Carney, a registered Democrat, was appointed to the Alaska Supreme Court in 2016. Her name will appear on the Nov. 3, 2020 ballot for her first retention election. As with public servants in the executive and legislative branches, people who serve in the judiciary willingly put themselves in a position where they know they will be held accountable to the people for decisions they have made.

Alaskans deserve better than Justice Susan Carney. In decision after decision, Susan Carney has shown she doesn’t respect the law. Neither does she respect the choices of voters who elect men and women to lead Alaska, enact laws and protect the common good.

Our republican form of government depends on having judges who won’t violate the authority of leaders who are chosen by the people — the Legislature and the governor. Otherwise, we no longer have self-government and instead become subjects of a judicial oligarchy.

The left in this country and in Alaska cannot and will not succeed in establishing their liberal, anti-family agenda without activist judges — judges who legislate from the bench and force their social agenda on Americans and Alaskans. “Progressives” have failed to get their agenda passed through elected bodies of government that are accountable to real people who have families and vote their values. Whether the issue is abortion, gay marriage, the Pledge of Allegiance, religious liberty or property rights issues, they must rely upon the activist judges who are seeking radical social change through the unconstitutional use of raw judicial power.

Susan Carney joined a narrow majority of three justices who ruled that Alaska’s 1994 law creating a public sex offender registry violated the privacy rights of sexual predators. Never mind what the Department of Public Safety, the Alaska Legislature, and advocates for victims of sexual assault have to say. Justice Carney gets the final say on whether you should know if a child molester is living next door.

In another decision, when Gov. Bill Walker vetoed nearly half of the 2016 permanent fund dividend due to Alaskans, a group of current and former legislators filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of the veto. The group included former Senator Clem Tillion, one of the founders of the permanent fund.

But Justice Carney (who was appointed by Gov. Walker) ratified the governor’s decision to slash the PFD — despite the fact that the dividend amount due to Alaskans is set by a legal formula in law that has never been changed.

In yet another opinion, despite Alaska facing recurring annual budget deficits in excess of $1 billion, Justice Susan Carney ruled that taxpayers should be forced to pay for elective abortions. In 2014, the Legislature enacted a law (SB49) that limited funding of abortion under Medicaid to only procedures that are medically necessary. Thanks to Justice Carney, all Alaskans are now required to pay for abortions that have absolutely no medical justification. By forcing Alaska’s taxpayers to fund more abortions for any reason, Justice Carney enabled the abortion industry (Planned Parenthood) to exploit more vulnerable low-income women and enlarge its billion dollar coffers.

Thomas Jefferson wrote that “The opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional and what not, not only for themselves in their own sphere of action, but for the Legislature and Executive also in their spheres, would make the Judiciary a despotic branch.”

James Madison said that “Refusing or not refusing to execute a law, to stamp it with its final character … makes the Judiciary department paramount in fact to the Legislature, which was never intended and can never be proper.”

Justice Carney has crossed the line trying to turn herself into a super-legislator. It’s time to take back our Constitution and state and vote Justice Susan Carney off the bench on Nov. 3.

Tuckerman Babcock, former Alaskan Republican Party chair; Eileen Becker, Homer business owner; Charlie Pierce, current mayor Kenai Peninsula Borough

• By Tuckerman Babcock, former Alaskan Republican Party chair; Eileen Becker, Homer business owner; Charlie Pierce, current mayor Kenai Peninsula Borough

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