ACLU of Alaska challenges Governor’s veto of court system funds

    ANCHORAGE -- The ACLU of Alaska filed a legal challenge to Governor Dunleavy’s latest veto of court system funding.

    The ACLI claims Governor Michael Dunleavy violated the Constitution, and the separation of powers, by slashing the court’s budget by $334,700 after an Alaska Supreme Court ruling that found the state was unfairly excluding Medicaid recipients’ access to abortion services.   

    “It is the court’s constitutional duty to uphold the law, not to appease the agenda of a politician,” ACLU of Alaska Legal Director Stephen Koteff said. “Such actions from the Executive Branch jeopardize the strength of its coequal branches of government, and subsequently our ability to function as a democratic society. Without the separation of powers and a system of checks and balances, we cannot call ourselves a democracy.” 

    Governor Dunleavy’s April 7, 2020, line-item veto for FY 21, which began on July 1, 2020, was for the same amount as the year before, when the Governor wrote in his “statement of objections”: “The Legislature and Executive Branch are opposed to State-funded elective abortions; the only branch of government that insists on State-funded elective abortions is the Supreme Court.” 

    More from News of the North

    Current Conditions

    Crude Oil Price