Letters to the Editor

Letter: Don’t rewrite our constitution

Residents love Alaska for more than our weather. The freedoms and liberty guaranteed in our state constitution are more explicit than in other state constitutions. Only 11 states have similar expanded rights of privacy.  

Now some people want to change that freedom to what is your private life and freedom in your home. The right of privacy enables a person to decide what medical treatment to get or not. That right of privacy is also the basis for personal use of marijuana in your home, as explained by the Alaska Supreme Court in the case Ravin v. Alaska. That right was placed in our constitution, as people viewed the abuses of government intrusion into personal lives during the times of the McCarthy U.S. Senate hearings and wanted to make sure it did not happen here!

A big problem is a convention has the power to change all provisions and all changes can be rolled into a single voter proposal hiding undesirable changes under the cover of a popular one. We have been spared this “roll everything together” problem because our constitution has a “single subject rule.” Article 2, Section 13 states “Every bill shall be confined to one subject …” We have escaped the worst effects of the “omnibus bill” challenge that afflicts many states and the federal government. Not only are unpopular issues hidden, but votes by legislators are less accountable to constituents because of claims they voted to support a different issue included in the omnibus package. Our constitutional convention would be the ultimate omnibus bill.

Let’s not risk creating problems for ourselves. Vote no on Ballot Measure 1 in November to avoid an unnecessary and costly constitutional convention.

— Paul Seaton


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