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Tuesday, May 28, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Alaska High Court Rejects Secession Ballot Measure

(CN) - The Alaska Supreme Court again blocked a ballot initiative aimed at getting Alaska residents to vote to secede from the United States.

Scott Kohlhaas first tried in 2003 to get a ballot initiative asking Alaska voters if they wanted the state to secede from the union. The lieutenant governor refused to place the initiative on the ballot, and the superior and supreme courts agreed that the effort was unconstitutional.

Kohlhaas tried again in 2007, this time attempting to ask voters if the laws should be changed in order to make a secession attempt possible.
This second attempt had the same result: The lieutenant governor said no, the superior court agreed, and the Supreme Court affirmed.
"Kohlhaas's revised initiative seeks either secession itself or a change in existing constitutional law to allow secession. Because secession is clearly unconstitutional, and because the people of Alaska cannot effect constitutional change through the initiative process, Kohlhaas' revised initiative is an improper subject for the initiative process," Chief Justice Dana Fabe wrote.

"Because the Alaska Constitution is rooted in the relationship between the state of Alaska and the United States of America, neither the political framework it establishes nor the political community it names exists outside that relationship," she added.

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