Welcome to Alaska, where residents or visitors in rural communities apparently have fewer civil rights, where the Constitution applies only to more populated cities and boroughs, where people can be banished as if in some tinpot dictatorship in days of yore.

Yes, we get it that tribes are fed up – not unlike the rest of us – of dealing with bootleggers and drug dealers. Yes, we get it that law enforcement can be hard to come by in rural Alaska. And, yes, we get it that banishing an individual from a village seems a neat, quick way to end the problem.

But at what cost? It simply moves the problem elsewhere and flies in the face of every constitutional constraint.

That the state is reluctant to interfere is somewhat puzzling. Alaska Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth tells the Alaska Dispatch News the tribes are sovereign entities; that the state is not looking to get involved in a test case of tribal rights.

“We recognize that it presents constitutional challenges,” she told the newspaper. “But I don’t think it’s the state’s place to approve or disapprove of anything.”

She suggested if an individual want to proceed, he or she should go to court. Then, the state might – or might not – decide to join in.

If not the state’s place, then whose? Government truly has but few responsibilities or reasons for existing. One of them, perhaps the primary one, is safeguarding our civil right, but in this case the state is willing to stand by while a person or persons – no matter their criminal status – has their rights abridged.

One can only wonder what would happen if the city of Anchorage, inundated with all manner of miscreants nowadays, caught and summarily banished them?

Our best guess is that the state would not be sitting on its hands.





3 Responses to Banishment?

  1. Will Gay October 10, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    This is great news for Berkowitz and Anchorage taxpayers! Finally a solution to the public inebriate and homeless problem!
    BANISH them! After all this is America . We are all equal under the law, no?

  2. Gerald Newton October 10, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    I suggest you research the Doctrine of Discovery and watch the video by Robert Williams. This doctrine has been used twice by the US Supreme Court to take land from Indians in America.

  3. John London October 11, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    When countries, accept a certain rate of crime, and law is ineffective and convoluted, they resorted to penal colonies. Australia was a penal colony of Britain. Britain had no choice.

    The Aleutians come to mind and like everything today including drugs, we can always count on a shoutout “It’s good for the economy”, “We can tax it”, “creates jobs” and other assorted goo.



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