Sen. Dan Sullivan voiced his full support for Amy Coney Barrett for the U.S. Supreme Court.
“She clearly understands the separation of powers and federalism, holds a healthy skepticism regarding the expansive power of federal agencies, and is a strong protector and proponent of the Second Amendment—all issues that my constituents care deeply about,” Sullivan said on the Senate floor.
While Sen. Lisa Murkowski has demurred from saying what her position is on the president’s nominee to the high court, Sullivan specifically mentioned Alaska’s rights granted at statehood for access to our land.
“Why are these issues so important to Alaska and central to us realizing our potential? Mr. President, let me give you a brief but recent example of an issue that recently made its way through the Ninth Circuit—which often is the bane of our existence in Alaska—to the Supreme Court, not once, but twice, and was unanimously agreed to by the Supreme Court. In a case that some in the media will be familiar with, Sturgeon vs. Frost—a moose hunter, a hover craft, and the wild Interior of Alaska made for some great headlines. But the issue being litigated in that case was one of control, one of freedom—control of our lands, our waters, our fish and game,” he said.
“The federal government, in essence, told John Sturgeon he couldn’t use his hovercraft on federal waters to go hunting. “Yes, I can,” said Sturgeon. He knew the law. Then there was litigation. It is one that comes up time and again in Alaska. The issue of federal overreach, agency creep. In Alaska, we have a front row [seat] to this problem. We’ve seen it happen to us consistently by the courts, particularly, as I mentioned, the judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. When they interpret statutes involving my state—and there are many federal statutes that only relate to Alaska—in a way that fits with their ideas and policy notions about the way the federal lands in Alaska should be managed. In essence, they typically think that less control by the people and more control by the government is what is needed. But, Mr. President, that often is not what Congress wrote and what Congress intended. It’s the absolute opposite of judicial humility, failing to read the statutes as we, in this body, wrote them. It’s failing to exhibit the kind of textualism that Judge Barrett ascribes to and [that] was so on display during her hearings.”
The vote is scheduled for Monday in the Senate.