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Tue Feb 26, 2013, 02:17 AM

Excellent piece by Shannyn Moore re Alaska and the Voting Rights Act...please read this.

We really are under siege here.



Our state's case, which has been stayed, will rise or fall with the decision of the Supreme Court in Shelby vs. Holder.

In a "friend of the court" brief filed by the state of Alaska, our department of law bitched and moaned, "Alaska has repeatedly suffered "extraordinary federalism costs. These provisions nearly derailed Alaska's 2012 elections, when the State was sued to stop election preparations under an interim redistricting plan ordered by the Alaska Supreme Court and submitted to the DOJ for preclearance. Although DOJ's eventual preclearance mooted the lawsuit, the damage to the state's sovereignty was done."

See, the Republicans who filed this brief are angry because their gerrymandered redistricting map was challenged in court. The map used in the 2012 election has been thrown out as unconstitutional under STATE law, but the Parnell administration doesn't want the Department of Justice to be able to ensure Native Alaskans are represented.


Another amicus brief has been filed with the high court. This one from the Alaska Federation of Natives. The AFN represents 178 villages, 13 Native corporations, and 12 non-profit regional consortia. They say they "represent registered voters in Alaska who are impacted by the State's failure to comply with the VRA (Voting Rights Act)."

The AFN lays out, in its 101-page brief, the many years of difficulties Native Alaskans have faced to have their voices heard.

Well, I'm not sure how the court will read it, but their brief screamed "SMACKDOWN" to me.

Why did the AFN file its brief? "To respond to Alaska's amicus brief that falsely claims it has no history of voting discrimination ..."

In correcting the record presented by the state -- trying to save their Republican gerrymandered voting map -- the AFN states, "The unvarnished truth is that Alaska is a textbook case for why the coverage formula remains valid and section 5 remains a necessary response to widespread educational and voting discrimination against Alaska Native citizens."


The results of our last election (which gave the Republicans supermajorities in both houses) are questionable because the State Supreme Court had ruled against the Redistricting Board twice. A legal plan was not in place. The election went forward anyway because there wasn't enough time to present another plan, but basically I see this legislature as illegitimate. Nevertheless, they're going full-on ALEC on us, just bombarding us with every crazy bill they can come up with. And to top it off, as I've been talking about here, my representative who has been elected as a Democrat since 2006, switched parties after the election and before being sworn in. I'm on the recall committee. She's avoiding her constituents like the plague.

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