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. Justice Carney is vulnerable due to her controversial decisions. She authored a decision striking down a law that sought to end public funding of abortions (State of Alaska vs. Planned Parenthood). Carney was also part of the majority in a 3 to 2 decision which found that Alaska’s sex offender registry violated the privacy of sexual predators (John Doe vs. Department of Public Safety).
Average retention “yes” vote by decade:
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.
In general, Alaskans have become less confident in the Judiciary. There has been a gradual decline in the retention margins of ALL Supreme Court justices, even though most justices have faced no organized opposition. Over the last several decades the average retention percentage has eroded by nearly 10 percent.
Just as elected officials are held accountable for the decisions they make in the Executive and Legislative branches, the Alaska State Constitution provides opportunities for citizens to determine if judges should remain in office or be removed for court decisions, incompetence, moral lapses or any reason an individual may have.
“Accountability of appointed judges to the people is provided by periodic ‘retention elections’ in which judges stand before the electorate on their own records, without party labels. The question before the voters is simply whether a particular judge should remain in office.” -Alaska’s Constitution: A Citizen’s Guide by Gordon Harrison