State files motion to dismiss in ACLU lawsuit over court budget veto
July 28, 2019
"The governor exercised significant line item vetoes regarding the executive to help balance the budget," said Attorney General Kevin G. Clarkson. "In comparison, the veto reducing the court system’s appropriation was minor. And yet, as a result of the ACLU’s complaint we are now having to spend finite legal resources defending what is clearly within the governor's express constitutional veto authority."
The motion to dismiss reiterates what the Alaska Constitution specifies shall occur in the constitutional budgeting process: "The Constitution… specifically leaves it to the legislative and executive branches to decide how much funding the court system, along with other state departments, requires."
The issues raised by the ACLU are political questions and must be resolved by the political branches of government through the constitutional appropriations process. This process already includes sufficient checks and balances - the legislature passes the budget, the governor can strike or reduce specific budget items, and the legislature can override those vetoes.
"The court is not the proper forum to decide this political dispute," said Attorney General Clarkson. "The appropriate constitutional process has already played out and continues to play out between the legislature and the governor."
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Reported & Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews
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