ACLU sues governor for cutting budget of state courts that compel Alaska to pay for elective abortions

By Dave Andrusko

Back on July 10, we reposted a story that was both amusing and telling. Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy had decided to cut from the budget of the state Supreme Court the amount it cost the state of Alaska to fund abortions, a requirement (you guessed it) of the Alaska Supreme Court.

By using line-item veto, Dunleavy reduced the budget of the state’s courts by $334,700 – the precise amount of public money spent on paying for elective abortions annually.

The Office of Management and Budget explained, “The Legislative and Executive Branch are opposed to state-funded elective abortions; the only branch of government that insists on state-funded elective abortions is the Supreme Court. …The annual cost of elective abortions is reflected by this reduction.”

“The Federal Government also prohibits any federal funds paying for elective abortions,” the document also notes.

Well, that was too, too much for the ACLU of Alaska. Yesterday Joshua Decker, its executive director, held a press conference to tell reporters “that the governor’s decision to veto funding for the courts violated the separation of powers doctrine and breached the Alaska Constitution on gubernatorial veto power,” according to KTUU, Channel 2. “The governor cannot impermissibly interfere with the functions of another co-equal branch,” Decker added.

Alaska Public Media reported, “Even if the cut to the court system is ultimately overturned by legislators with other vetoed items, the ACLU is still likely to ask for a ruling on the matter.”

Decker wants the funding cut reversed and the governor’s action declared illegal under state law.