Fagan: The Left controls the courts in Alaska


Did you know a small, close-knit group of hard Leftists firmly control one-third of Alaska’s government? They operate under the name Alaska Bar Association, and they’re more powerful than the governor, legislature, and certainly the people.  

Here’s a perfect example: Alaskans overwhelmingly voted in 2010 for a citizen’s led initiative requiring at least one parent to be notified before their child under the age of 17 gets an abortion. The measure passed by a 56-to-43 margin.

The idea of a 13-year old girl having a major medical procedure like abortion without a parent’s knowledge was too terrifying a proposition for most sane Alaska voters. There was even a judicial overview provision in the law for the teen in case her pregnancy was a result of sex abuse by the father. The girl could first talk to a neighbor or school counselor and get an exemption from parental notification if her father was involved in the pregnancy.  

The parental notification law was in place between 2011 and 2016. During that time, abortions for girls under the age of 17 dropped dramatically. The law saved lives.   

But by 2016, Planned Parenthood had successfully challenged the parental notification law before the Alaska Supreme Court. Planned Parenthood operates four baby killing clinics in Alaska. The more dead babies, the healthier the bottom line for Planned Parenthood. It’s an organization responsible for the slaughter of close to 9 million American kids living defenselessly in their mother’s womb. Planned Parenthood has killed 3 million more babies and counting than Hitler murdered in the Holocaust.  

The Alaska Supreme Court members with blood on their hands voting to overturn the parental notification law and the will of the people were then Chief Justice Dana Fabe, Justices Daniel Winfree, Peter Maasen, and current Chief Justice Joel Bolger. Justice Craig Stowers was the lone dissenter. 

The most powerful people in government today are Leftist judges viewing themselves as “super legislators.” They have no regard for the rule of law or the constitution. In fact, most of them hate the Constitution and see it as the largest hurdle to ushering in their radical agenda. These Leftist judges rule based on their own personal political proclivities and leanings. They are in the truest sense of the word, tyrants.

The safeguard against loading the courts with Leftist judges in the federal system is to elect conservative politicians who will then appoint like-minded judges. Conservatives are fond of how our founding fathers set things up and they respect the constitution. When a law comes before a conservative judge, they typically call balls and strikes and rule based on whether it fits within the parameters laid out in the constitution. Leftist judges, on the other hand, approve the law if they like it personally. 

Yet, Alaska courts are currently loaded with Leftist judges because we pick them very differently than the federal system.

The Alaska Judicial Council will forward at least two names to the governor when there’s an opening on the bench. The governor must then pick from those names. 

The Judicial Council is made up of three public members appointed by the governor and three other members appointed by The Alaska Bar Association. The deciding vote on which names are forwarded belongs to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. 

Lawyers have a stranglehold on the judicial branch, which makes up one-third of state government. But really the judicial branch is more powerful than the other two branches because Leftist judges like Bolger place themselves above the law. As was the case with the parental notification law, Bolger and his colleagues ruled based on what they thought was best. It’s as if they are kings and queens. 

You would be hard-pressed to find an organization more liberal than the Alaska Bar Association. How could anyone believe allowing this group to determine who sits on the bench in Alaska is a good idea? 

Shockingly, the Anchorage Daily News wrote a column over the weekend praising the way we pick judges in Alaska. It was written by the editorial board made up of Ryan Binkley, Andy Pennington, and Tom Hewitt.

Of course, Binkley, Pennington, and Hewitt like the current set up. The courts in Alaska are loaded with Leftist judicial activists. The ADN editorial board described the federal system as too political and absurdly issued moral equivalency to both Democrats and Republicans with the way they handle U.S. Supreme Court nominees.

“…in recent years, the process for selecting and confirming Supreme Court justices has become the bitterest political fight in Washington, D.C., with both parties willing to go to virtually any length to ensure or obstruct the seating of a nominee,” wrote Binkley, Pennington, and Hewitt. 

This is the type of subtle deception the ADN frequently traffics in. The Democrats have been vicious in their attempts to assassinate the character of conservative nominees dating back to Robert Bork in 1987, Clarence Thomas in 1991, and Brett Kavanaugh in 2018. Expect more viciousness with Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination this year. There has been no such attempt at destroying the reputations of liberal nominees by Republicans. 

For the ADN to argue Republicans have been as bad as Democrats on manufacturing scandals and speciously slandering nominees proves once again not much you read in Alaska’s largest newspaper can be trusted. 

Fortunately, Americans have a safeguard against tyrant federal judges thwarting their will on the public: Elect a conservative president and senate.  

But in Alaska, we have no way of blocking the nomination of Leftists like Bolger and other tyrants sitting on the Alaska Supreme Court. We can vote not to retain them after their term ends, but the damage has been done by then. 

Our governor must choose from a list handed to him from liberal trial lawyers. It’s rare conservative justices ever make it on the list. If we are ever to see real reform in Alaska we’ll first have to wrestle back one-third of state government, the judicial branch, from the Alaska Bar Association.

Even a system where judges are elected is preferable to the way Alaska currently fills vacancies on the bench. The problem with the system of elected judges is trial lawyers fund liberal candidates, while insurance companies and businesses fund conservative judicial campaigns. But at least with electing judges the people have a say instead of a handful of trial lawyers as is the case now. 

The most preferable way to pick judges is the system employed by the federal government. The elected governor nominates and an elected senate must confirm. That way the judicial branch of the government reflects the political leanings of the electorate. As it stands, the liberal Alaska Bar Association has too much power in controlling the judicial branch in Alaska.  

Dan Fagan hosts the number one rated morning drive talk show, weekdays on Newsradio 650 KENI. Dan splits his time between Anchorage and New Orleans.  


  1. The constitutions of the US and the State of Alaska mean nothing to the attorneys or the judges in this state. If these documents meant anything, there would be a line of attorneys out the door filing suit against the assembly, the mayor and the state for constitutional violations of individual rights.

    • You are exactly right. The legal professionals have caved on our Constitutional Rights, just like the Medical Establishment did on our Health. I appreciate the article by Fagan because it brings up yet another issue for a Constitutional Convention in 2022… but will there even be anything like a Democratic Republic of free men and women operating in the USA by then ? The Mainstream Media has become the mouth piece of the Global-Left, and the Leftist Agenda is being carried out against Alaskans and Americans everywhere. There is nothing to do but fight on …

  2. Maybe leftist compared to the author who is out in the fringe right but overall the court is right leaning.

  3. While I do not disagree with your too-long story here I think it misses what for me is the main solution as well as an important point you might have made. A very thoughtful former AK AG (cannot precisely remember for which Governor, and probably wouldn’t say if I could) once called me and directed me to tell the then sitting Governor (which I did) that if Governors want to have any conservative names forwarded to them by the Judicial Council then they need to begin by hiring conservative attorneys in the Department of Law and in the judicial system – AAGs, prosecutors and the like, I believe he meant (but I am not very well schooled in how those parts of government work). This person was involved in the Judicial Council process at that particular time, and that is why he did not call the Governor himself. I know he was right; I have heard an AAG many times testify against bills in the Leg that any conservative Governor would support even though we had a Republican Governor when that far left AAG was testifying! I am thinking especially about gun legislation in particular because that is what interests me, but this wrong-headed situation extends to resource management and many other areas of the law. Specifically, for decades the state had an AAG, who was married to an extremely liberal judge, represent the administration when the Dept. of Law was called to speak to a Leg. committee. If Republican Governors do not hire conservative attorneys at every opportunity then the Judicial Council just has a very liberal group from which to choose names.

    If I had more time to write this I think I could make it more clear, but I think I have explained it well enough for you to get the point (though like you I used too many words). We have a conservative Governor right now, and he should look at cleaning house in the ranks (all AAGs serve at the pleasure of the Governor), replacing them with conservative attorneys (NRA life members would suit me) as a place to begin. For decades I have heard conservatives wring their hands over this, as you have here, without anything being done about it! Note that your solution requires a big political change whereas this current Governor could implement my solution beginning today, but most Alaska Governors hire their Attorney General and then tell him/her to go run the huge, expensive and important department, usually when the AG selected has never run anything larger than an 8 to 10 attorney law firm (if that) – and the results are usually worse than mediocre, especially for conservative Governors. Forgive me for observing that 2 years in the current Governor has indeed experienced worse than mediocre results at Law!

  4. I’m glad you pointed this out. The latest attempt by Dunleavy to appoint someone who wasn’t on the list was stopped when it was shown in the Alaska Constitution that we don’t pick our judges that way. Therefore, let’s amend the Alaska Constitution! Is this done with a ballot measure, or is more required?

    I do prefer using the US judge selection as a template. It seems to me that electing judges will get you the best politicians, not the best judges.

  5. Well said. This has been a scam since it’s inception, and this is why we have the most corrupt judiciary in the country.

  6. It’s always interesting to me to see that the majority of people who call others baby killers and preach “no abortions” are predominantly men. Another way to control women. Keep women pregnant. Want barefoot in the winter, too, Fagan?

    • Funny, I know a lot of women that are against abortion and that abomination called Planned Parenthood. They are also christian conservative woman so there is that.

      • When I see the folks standing in line trying to educate women on the barbarity of the procedure, they are about 99% of the time, women.

        The debate on this should be on when life begins. If you don’t want to be called a baby killer, don’t support late term (when the baby is viable) and post birth abortion. If you can’t call that out as wrong, then there will never be any common ground. At some point, a civilized society should be able to agree on when live begins, then give it rights and protect it. That is where the discussion needs to be. Maybe it’s conception? Maybe it’s not. But it’s certainly not so arbitrary as on one side of the uterine wall or the other, and certainly it doesn’t extend to a starting point PAST birth. That is infanticide, if truthfully named.

    • I oppose abortion completely. I am a woman. I’ve never actually called someone a “baby killer.” But I think you’re definitely wrong to believe that your Feminist Ideology is good for women. Abortions harm every single woman who has one. Either by inflicting a wound of guilt on their conscience, or for those who don’t have a conscience, a more certain likelihood of going to Hell. It’s too bad that’s what you advocate. It is Satanic. I will always prayerfully stand against it.

  7. Not very familiar with the prolife movement in America are you Patti? If you were to visit the local organizations that accommodate an unplanned pregnancy you would observe that they are mostly staffed by WOMEN,!!. It’s pretty obvious to me that Trumps nominee to the Supreme Court happens to be a WOMAN,! Wake up and smell the coffee your ridiculous statement went out in the sixties along with bra burning!!

  8. That’s not true. You simply introduce something without any facts to back it up. Most women I know are not baby killers and look down on those who do kill babies. If you be one of those then you’re about as tall as whatever is under the rock you slithered out of.

    • Is it your god that tells you that the irresponsible sexual habits of societal detritus are someone else’s problem to cure? What god would that be anyway… like a raven or some such?

  9. Where in the AK constitution does it say that parents shall be notified of their children’s abortions? The AK Supreme Court’s role is to make decisions on laws that are usually not explicitly addressed by the constitution. You disagreed with the decision and that’s fine, but judges aren’t tyrants just because they have a different view than you. Do you have the capacity to disagree with people that hold opposing views without demonizing them?

    • That’s actually pretty funny, accusing someone of demonizing others that hold a different viewpoint than he does when those on the left are notorious for doing that very thing which you speak of, hypocrite much?

    • The same place it says children need parental approval for any medical procedure. Have your 13 year old son or daughter try and get a free flu shot. Won’t happen unless a parent is there. The right of a parent to care for their child includes the right to approve of medical treatment. Ripping fetuses out of a woman IS a medical procedure, plain and simple.

      • There’s no money in aspirin. There’s good money in abortion. That and the left fundamentally looks at people as property of the collective. There is no inherent value to the individual. This is reflected in all the doctrine of their faith.

    • Where in the AK constitution does it say that minor children have the inalienable right to commit infanticide without parents’ knowledge or consent?
      Judges are perfectly entitled to force taxpayers to pay for killing babies because the framers of the Constitution did not foresee Americans descending to such barbarism, yes?
      It’s not a matter of disagreeing with people who are cute and cuddly and look just like you, but happen to have “opposing views”.
      It is a matter of demonizing and defeating those who euphemize their crimes as a bizarre entitlement to kill helpless babies, trade in dead-baby parts, and force Americans to pay for mass murder.

  10. Once again Dan Fagan gets it exactly wrong. His right wing demography blinds him to the fact that electing judges opens the whole system up to the type of big money influence and corruption that gives us marginal candidates, many of whom have no clue as to what they are doing, rather than being selected by the attorneys, from both parties and philosophies, that work with the judges and know whether they are worthy or not. Or, maybe, that’s exactly what he wants, candidates for judgeships who will bow to the party muckity-mucks, so long as they are of his party.
    His rants about 13-year-olds getting parent free abortions and using character assassination to vet candidates hold as much water as my last whiskey glass (which had this huge hole on top of it and only accepted “neat”). Perhaps, what passes for character assissination (sic) in his mind could be construed to mean “vetting” in the minds of others (Kavanaugh certainly had his moments), and I have yet to hear of a thirteen-year-old getting a get out of jail free card from the Catholic Church even though she may have been raped by her daddy or her uncle,
    In other words, Dan sees anyone and anything that stands an inch to the left of John Birch as a stark raving liberal, and I place as much confidence in his judgement as I do his command of logic.

  11. The Judicial Council should have been abolished years ago. At the very least only allow the Alaska Bar Association to appoint one member in an advisory role only. And let the sitting Attorney General of Alaska have the deciding vote. Talk about the fox guarding the henhouse!

  12. I sat in court when Judge Guidi told the father of a 16 year old girl who did not want visitation with the mother due to the assault and rape of the mother in front of the children to come up with a SAFE WORD for the 16 year old.
    I also watched him get angry with the mother telling her that the 2007 abuse was a long time ago and fine her $27,000.00
    Luckily, Judge Guidi is up for retention election and hopefully Alaska votes him out.

    • Please hit that first sentence one more time. It sounds like there’s something interesting behind it but I don’t understand what you mean.

      It’d also be an xlnt idea to have a cheat sheet for upcoming election candidates that support conservative values and have a demonstrated history confirming that they’re reliably reliable.

  13. Dan – you’re wrong about Alaska’s judicial selection process being dominated by the AK Bar Association. Alaska’s judicial selection system was designed to be as non-political as possible and to produce judges who rule on the law, the facts in a case and the Constitution. The Alaska Judicial Council consists of three non-attorneys, appointed by the governor and confirmed by the legislature and three attorneys appointed by the board of governors of the AK Bar Association. The 7th member of the Council is the chief justice of the AK Supreme Court, who chairs the Council, but rarely votes. The chief justice votes to break tie votes and if a Council member is absent. Since 1984, chief justices have voted 5% of the time and when they vote, they usually vote to forward a judicial candidate’s name to the governor for consideration. When Alaskans apply for an open judgeship, the Council evaluates applicants on competence, fairness, impartiality, temperament and more and hears input from the public. After an exhaustive evaluation process, the Council provides a list of the most highly qualified candidates to the governor, who selects from the list to make a judicial appointment.

  14. Get off our land you disgusting “proud boys”. Native Alaskans can speak on Alaska political matters, not colonizers like you. Go back to where you came from.

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