Alaska attorney general defends veto of court system funding over abortion ruling

Alaska’s attorney general says Gov. Mike Dunleavy was within his constitutional rights to cut the court system budget for a decision he didn’t like.

Attorney General Kevin Clarkson in a statement Thursday says a governor has line-item budget veto power over all appropriations, without exception.

Dunleavy's budget vetoes last month included a $334,700 cut to the court system, the amount spent on state-funded abortions.

The Alaska Supreme Court this year ruled that a state law defining what constitutes a medically necessary abortion was unconstitutional.

The ACLU of Alaska sued Wednesday, claiming Dunleavy’s budget reduction to the court system was a threat to judicial independence.

Clarkson says the lawsuit proposes that the judiciary control how the other two branches of government fund the courts.

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