In the Headlines
August 26, 2015

State Supreme Court hears setnet ban arguments

Alaska Journal of Commerce; KTVA Alaska; Alaska Dispatch News

The Alaska Supreme Court will decide if Alaskans can use a ballot initiative to ban an entire group of fishermen. In making its decision, a key consideration for the court will be defining an allocation.

The State of Alaska says the initiative is an unconstitutional de facto reallocation of salmon from one user group of fishermen to another, if not an explicit one, while the Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance (AFCA) says the constitutional definition of allocation should be applied literally according to a particular legal precedent.

Attorney Matt Singer, who represents the AFCA, said the ballot is constitutionally sound, as it makes no specific allocation to one group from another.

“Most initiatives appeal to the self-interest of some voters,” Mr. Singer said. “The mere appeal of the initiative is not the concern. The concern is does the initiative affect a giveaway? This one does not. It’s apples and oranges to compare this initiative to the one in Pullen.”

READ: State Supreme Court hears setnet ban arguments
Alaska Supreme Court hears arguments in ongoing Kenai setnet debate

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