Gov. Mike Dunleavy recently reduced the Alaska judiciary budget by $335,000 in order to “defund” elective abortions. In his statement supporting this reduction, he stated, “The Legislative and Executive Branch are opposed to State funded elected abortions.” But because “the only branch of government that insists on State funding elected abortions is the Supreme Court,” Dunleavy is reducing its budget by what he claims is the “annual cost of elective abortions.”
Let’s see: Dunleavy, who was elected governor by less than 20% of all Alaskans, is imposing his personal sense of justice over the Alaska Supreme Court that is charged with ensuring the laws passed by the Legislature comply with the constitution - a responsibility that it performs on behalf of all Alaskans. The Legislature is composed of 60 members who were each elected by much smaller numbers of voters; with 23 of the 40 members in the House identified as Republican and 13 of 20 in the Senate, it is fair to conclude that neither the Senate nor House are in unanimous support of eliminating elective abortion.
A reduction of $335,000 from the judiciary budget could have a significant impact on the ability of the courts to complete criminal trials within the time allowed by law - that would be an unfortunate unintended consequence to the Governor’s moment of revenge!
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