What makes an Alaskan? Alaska Supreme Court says it is basically leaving your bra behind in Alaska

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The Alaska Supreme Court has ruled, in the case of Democrat Rep. Jennie Armstrong’s tenuous claims of residency, your home is basically wherever you left your bra behind. Or perhaps your carpetbag.

The legal case was brought by Republican candidate and longtime Alaskan Liz Vazquez, along with Chris Duke, Randy Eledge, Steve Strait, and Kathryn Werdahl, all longtime residents. They said that Armstrong had not met the residency rule for serving in the Legislature, because according to the Alaska Constitution, a candidate must have been a resident for three years immediately before filing for office. For the November, 2022 election, Armstrong would have needed to be a resident by June 1, 2022. Armstrong said she became a resident on May 20, 2019, while the complainants said she wasn’t a resident until June 7, 2019, at the earliest.

Armstrong is a born-and-raised Louisianan, who sold her stuff in 2016 and started traveling around the country. She met Benjamin Kellie, an Alaskan sometime around January, 2019, on a video call set up by a friend. The two became romantically interested and Kellie persuaded her to book a flight. She visited Kellie from May 10-20, 2019. That is when she started imagining life with him. While basking in the steamy waters of Chena Hot Springs on May 14, the two had conversations about how they felt about each other, and four days later, while visiting Seward, they discussed marriage and having children. Between May 18 and May 20, Kellie asked her to move in with him.

On May 20, Armstrong left the state with the intent to return after meeting some prior commitments. She told the Alaska Supreme Court that after she left the state she started looking for return tickets, but eventually decided it wasn’t logistically or financially feasible. She booked a flight back to Alaska on May 25 for travel on June 8. The two married in 2020.

When she applied for a non-resident fishing permit in June of 2019, she listed her Louisiana address as her permanent address. But she told the judges she had no intention to make Louisiana her home, even though she listed it as her home. In later years, she appeared to have fudged some of the dates on her fishing licenses.

The complainants said that there is no evidence Armstrong planned to stay until after June 7, 2019.

In 2023, the Supreme Court allowed Armstrong to be sworn in while the case proceeded.

The court ultimately believed Armstrong’s romantic story about adventuring to Alaska and then deciding to run for office to represent District 16 in Anchorage. The court upheld the Division of Elections certification of the November, 2022 election.

Justice Susan Carney was not convinced, sharing concerns that this new interpretation may invite transient individuals to claim residency with minimal proof. But the bra rule now stands in Alaska, as established by Rep. Armstrong’s summer romance in 2019.

17 COMMENTS

  1. So anyone who ever lost a piece of clothing on a visit is Alaskan now?

    This is George Conways “incoherent, shoddy ruling”.

  2. The main reasoning behind residency requirements appears to be yet another way to rank-order everyone against each other by countless forms of status hierarchies.

    • Kelly does not need it.
      When she ran for Senator… maybe, but that is not State Legislature, thus residency requirement is not in force. Just ask Al Gross, your preferred senate candidate.
      And, since Kelly has been in AK since then, she has well over three years.
      .
      Oh, and I may have missed it, but Kelly T. is running for a State office? If I did, my error, but if she is not running for office, your comment is meaningless.

  3. Intent is not actuality. Without intent, the Division of Elections would have to give the boot to Senators Hoffman and Stevens and most likely a few more State rural Legislators that have been using the same “Bra” defense for years.

    Anyone think the “intent” would hold sway with a State Fish and Game Trooper, if your partially recovered moose was still laying on the ground where you left it and your hundreds of miles away, weeks later???

    Corrupt judges picked by a corrupted Alaska Bar.

  4. Gee, then why was it when I visited my Alaska boyfriend in 1998, left with the same intentions of returning, got married and moved here in 1999, Dept. Of PFD said I didn’t qualify until the year I got married and moved here? Asking for a friend….

  5. To Justice Susan Carney who’s concerned this new interpretation may invite transient individuals to claim residency with minimal proof:
    .
    You haven’t seen anyothing yet, Justice Carney.
    .
    How long do you think it’ll take for word to get around Alaska’s illegal alien community that they just hit the jackpot?
    .
    Residency is now effectively meaningless when it comes to eligibility for political office… for entitlements
    .
    … and for voting.
    .
    No? Remind again how Alaska’s brand new, court-created illegal-alien residents will be denied their “right” to vote?
    .
    Seems reasonable to ask whether this is what the Supreme Clown Show was all about in the first place, grabbing an exciting opportunity to confer residency on illegal aliens so they can vote… or have someone help them vote correctly, whatever works.

  6. The proper response to a bone-headed ruling like this is to change the law, to make the question of residency more binary and supported by easily verifiable evidence.

  7. This decision may reflect, if that is possible, a new low for the Alaska Court system. The “Justices” knew what had to be done before they even heard the matter – a decision the “wrong” way would alter the Legislative balance and negatively for the Left. And the Courts clearly know what side they are on.

    It may be that even the Carney dissent was manufactured. Looking around the room when considering how to handle things, there perhaps was a notion to appear to be thoughtful, deliberative and balanced lest the Court unleash the wrath of conservatives. Someone had to sign a dissent. CYA. Who cares and the “correct” outcome was achieved.

    Ever notice that these cases ALWAYS turn out for the Left? I cannot recall a single case, stretching back decades, when the Left did NOT prevail on the facts, the law or both on any case with political import.

    Now Scott Kendall can seek attorney’s fees from the complainants and the courts will gleefully award them.

    My understanding is that the highly distinguished and honorable Representative Armstrong is not seeking reelection. Maybe she will depart Alaska soon. The notion that she contributes in any way to making good decisions about Alaska is the biggest joke.

    Way to go, Supreme Court. We already knew who you were. Now we can see, yet again, how you intend to inflict yourselves on us. Try not to laugh in our faces.

  8. Guess everyone moving to AK should immediately run for office and get on the state payroll.
    Does this intent rule apply to PFD applicants getting the PFD as well? May have a lot more applying….

  9. Here is a little math for all you dimlibbys in AK!

    10.5 to 12 MILLION illegal aliens are now in the USA.
    The whole state of Alaska’s population is about 740,000.

    So, for every Alaskan you see, there are 14 to 16 illegal aliens!

    Let that sink in for a minute!

  10. Nice!

    It’s easier to qualify as a resident to run for office in Alaska than it is to receive a PFD or a resident fishing license😁

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