From: Juneau Empire [the article is not dated; though, this is our capitol’s main newspaper]
Parnell trashes petition for Alaska’s independence
By Gregg Erickson
The union of Alaska with the United States is again safe, thanks to the vigilance of Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell and the Alaska Supreme Court. Earlier this month Parnell refused to certify an initiative petition that would have asked Alaska voters whether the state should “seek changes in existing law and constitutional provisions to authorize … independence from the United States.”
Certification would have meant the group could try to gather the roughly 35,000 signatures needed to get their proposition on the ballot. I think they’d have about zero chance of that; but according to Parnell, seeking changes in the U.S. and Alaska constitutions to allow independence is itself unconstitutional, and therefore something that Alaskans can’t be allowed to vote on, or even sign up for.
The petition Parnell trashed was submitted by Scott Kohlhass and 242 others, including Lynette Clark, the chair of the Alaska Independence Party and a disciple of the late Alaska independence advocate Joe Vogler. …
In 2003 Parnell’s predecessor, Loren Leman, threw out a similar petition. Kohlhass sued, taking his case to the Alaska Supreme Court. The justices wrapped themselves in Old Glory before coming down on Kohlhass like a Mt. Roberts avalanche….
The logic of the court’s opinion goes like this: Kohlhass wants Alaska independence; independence is the same as secession, which is unconstitutional; therefore the Kohlhass initiative is unconstitutional. The full opinion uses the words “secede” and “secession” 26 times; read it yourself on the web at www.state.ak.us/courts/ops/sp-6087.pdf.
The hole in the court’s logic is that the initiative does not seek secession; indeed, the proposition Kohlhass wishes to gather signatures for never uses that word. Secession is a unilateral act, like South Carolina’s 1860 withdrawal from the Union. What Kohlhass and his associates seek is a constitutional change, so Alaska – with the consent of the people of Alaska and the U.S. – can become independent.
Why Texas would flourish as an independent Republic based on liberty, not debt (has interesting comments)