With the assistance of Lawyers Defending American Democracy, Alaska lawyers have the opportunity to sign the following letter calling on Senator Murkowski and Senator Sullivan to fulfill their congressional duty to serve as a check on presidential actions that upend our Constitution and the rule of law. For the sake of our democracy, please add your name to the letter and share it with your colleagues.  

Alaska attorneys might also wish to sign the separate letter from Lawyers Defending American Democracy calling on President Trump to abide by the standards and values of our democracy.  As lawyers, we have an obligation to take a stand for the rule of law and for our system of government.

Charles E. Cole, Former Attorney General, State of Alaska
Walter L. Carpeneti, Chief Justice, Supreme Court (Ret.)

The Open Letter:

Dear Senators Murkowski and Sullivan:

We are Alaska lawyers writing to enlist your support in defending the constitutional values and norms of political behavior on which our democracy depends. These core values and principles – the rule of law, institutional checks and balances, separation of powers, freedom of the press, truthfulness to the public, and the integrity of our justice system – are under attack.

In our system of government, laws are only as good as those willing to uphold them. When a president disregards core values and principles, it is the duty of Congress to serve as a check – otherwise the rule of law becomes meaningless.

President Donald Trump is actively challenging the rule of law and undermining constitutional values and principles. Among other things, he is subverting the independence and integrity of the federal criminal justice and intelligence agencies; he is blocking proper congressional oversight of his administration at every level; he has indicated his willingness to take assistance from foreign governments for the next election; he is failing to fulfill his constitutional duty by appointing “acting” administrators to positions subject to consent by the Senate; he has improperly invoked emergency powers over the border wall to circumvent Congress’ appropriation power; and almost every day more evidence emerges of the President’s violation of the Constitution’s emoluments clause.

In direct contradiction of America’s first amendment principles, President Trump has repeatedly attacked the mainstream news media as the “enemy of the American people,” sowing the seeds of violence against journalists. And he undercuts the integrity of the courts with the blanket condemnation that our justice system is “broken and unfair” and by pillorying judges and decisions that he dislikes.

A new, nonpartisan organization called Lawyers Defending American Democracy (LDAD) has recently published an Open Letter to the President and Congress addressing these issues, As it notes, in part:

The President’s attacks on these core American democratic principles undermine the foundations of our Constitution and threaten the rule of law. Unless challenged and checked, this pattern of disregard weakens the norms that underpin America’s self-government and invites unfettered executive power – transforming the United States from a democracy to an autocracy. As members of the legal profession, pledged to support the rule of law and the constitutional separation of powers, we must not allow this to happen.

The values and principles threatened here [transcend] politics, policy differences and any politician’s self-interest. They’re the bedrock of our American, constitutional, democratic form of government.

We are specifically asking you to issue a statement supporting Lawyers Defending American Democracy’s Open Letter ( and cause it to be published in the Congressional Record. We also believe that the Letter could be a worthwhile point of reference for a Judiciary Committee hearing on the challenges currently facing the rule of law in our country. We would hope for bi-partisan support in both chambers. As noted in Lawyers Defending American Democracy’s Open Letter, prominent conservative lawyers have recently spoken out on many of these same issues through a new organization, “Checks and Balances.” We ask you to do the same.

More broadly, we are asking you to join us and take a stand for America’s core values and principles. We ask that you publicly call on the Senate leadership and your Congressional colleagues to take all actions available to preserve and protect America’s democracy.

Thank you.

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Signers (NOTE: Please be aware that there will be a time lag between completing the form and your name appearing as a signatory. Thank you for your understanding.)

Meredith Ahearn – Lawyers Defending America; Anchorage Alaska
Jessie Archibald – ALSC; Juneau, Alaska
Danielle Baileu – Attorney, State of Alaska; Anchorage, AK
Nick Bajwa – Attorney; Anchorage, AK
Elizabeth Bakalar – Ms. Elizabeth Bakalar, Former Senior Assistant Attorney General for the State of Alaska, Department of Law, Current Solo Practitioner; Juneau, Alaska
Jim Barnett – Anchorage, Alaska; Attorney and Historian; Anchorage
Peter Bartlett – Law Office of Peter Bartlett, former Assistant Attorney General, Assistant District Attorney (State of Alaska), former Assistant Municipal Attorney (Municipality of Anchorage), Inactive Member, Washington Bar Association; Anchorage, Alaska
Chris Bataille – Flanigan & Bataille; Anchorage, Alaska
Lynn Bechtol – Attorney at Law; Anchorage, AK
Ilona Bessenyey – Owner and attorney, Bessenyey & Van Tuyn, LLC; Anchorage, AK
Kathryn Black – Of Counsel, Birch Horton Bittner & Cherot; Anchorage, Alaska
Kristen Bomengen – State of Alaska, Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission; Juneau, Alaska
Bruce Bookman – Bookman & Helm LLP Retired; Anchorage Alaska
Bruce Botelho – Attorney General (1994-2002). Mayor, City and Borough of Juneau (1988-91, 2003-2012); Douglas, Alaska
Laura Bottger – Former Assistant Attorney General, Alaska; Bainbridge Island
Paul Bratton – Law Office of Paul H. Bratton; Fritz Creek
James Brennan – (Formerly) Brennan and Heideman; City and Borough of Sitka, Alaska
Monte Brice – Alaska Bar Association member; Juneau, Alaska
Daniel Bruce – Baxter Bruce & Sullivan PC; Juneau, Alaska 99801
Robert Buck Lindekugel – Southeast Alaska Conservation Council; Juneau
David Bundy – David H Bundy, P.C., Attorney; ANCHORAGE
Grant Callow – Alaska lawyer; Alaska Delegate and Life Member – Uniform Law Commission of the United States; Anchorage, Alaska
Annie Carpeneti – Attorney General’s Office – retired; Juneau, Alaska
Walter Carpeneti – Chief Justice, Alaska Supreme Court (Ret.); Juneau, Alaska
Marianna Carpeneti – State of Alaska, Office of Public Advocacy; Juneau, Ak
Alison Carter – Attorney; Fairbanks, AK
Shelley Chaffin – Law Office of Shelley K. Chaffin; Anchorage, AK
Mark Choate – Choate Law Firm LLC; Juneau
Evan Chyun – Former Assistant Public Advocate, State of Alaska; Anchorage, Alaska
David Clark – Owner, Law Office of David Clark; Anchorage, AK
Victoria Clark – Trustees for Alaska Executive Director; Anchorage, AK
Joan Clover – Law Office/Mediation Services of Joan Clover; Anchorage, Alaska
John Connors – Law Office of John J. Connors, P.C.; Fairbanks
Teresa Cramer – Retired attorney; Juneau, Alaska
Anna Crary – Attorney, private practice; Anchorage
Barbara Craver – Retired; Juneau, Alaska
Glenn Cravez – Law Office of Glenn E. Cravez, Inc.; Anchorage, Alaska
Eric Croft – Croft Law Office; Anchorage, Alaska
Peter Crosby – Formerly Peter J. Crosby, PC; Anchorage, Alaska
D. Scott Dattan – Lawyer; Anchorage
Douglas Davis – Of Counsel, Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt; Anchorage, Alaska
Brad De Noble – De Noble Law Offices LLC; Eagle River
Ann DeArmond – N/A; Wasilla
Lisa DeCora – Big Fire Law & Policy Group LLP – Attorney; Anchorage, Alaska
Eric Derleth – Eric Derleth – Trial Lawyer, Inc; Soldotna, Alaska
Steve Devries – Attorney; Anchorage Alaska
Erin Dougherty Lynch – Native American Rights Fund, Senior Staff Attorney; Anchorage, AK
Cynthia Drinkwater – Attorney General’s Office – Retired; Anchorage, AK
Louise Driscoll – Attorney; Anchorage, AK
Heidi Drygas – Attorney, Private Practice; Juneau, Alaska
Roger DuBrock – Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Miller & Munson, of counsel; Anchorage, AK
Kim Dunn – Partner, Landye Bennett Blumstein LLP; Anchorage, Alaska
Monica Elkinton – Assistant Municipal Attorney, Municipality of Anchorage; Anchorage, Alaska
William English – Attorney at Law; Anchorage Alasja
Susan Falk – Alaska State Law Librarian; Anchorage, Alaska
Walter Featherly – Holland & Knight, Anchorage office executive partner; Anchorage, Alaska
Sarah Felix – Assistant Attorney General, State of Alaska, Department of Law; Portland, OR
J John Franich – Small law practice – 3 lawyers; Fairbanks, Alaska
Michael Frank – Former member Alaska and Michigan Bar Associations; Anchorage, Alaska
John Gaguine – Former Assistant Attorney General; Juneau, AK
Gayle Garrigues – Retired, former Assistant District Attorney, & former Assistant Attorney General, State of Alaska; Fairbanks, Alaska
Jack Garyth Poulson – Sanders Poulson Woolford, LLC; Juneau, AK
Joseph Geldhof – Law Office of Joseph W. Geldhof; JUneau
Elizabeth Ann Gifford – Retired from Faulkner Banfield, P.C.; Juneau, Alaska
Donna Goldsmith – Attorney – Former Special Assistant Attorney General and private practitioner – Retired; Anchorage, Alaska
James Gorski – Private practice (inactive); Port Townsend, WA
Paul Grant – Former member of the Board of Directors of the American Civil Liberties Union; Juneau, Alaska
deborah greenberg – Assistant District Attorney, Alaska/Assistant Attorney General, Alaska; Anchorage, AK
Jack Griffin – Senior Counsel, Conocophillips Alaska, Inc.; former Assistant Attorney General; Anchorage, AK
Clifford Groh, II – Former Assistant District Attorney, State of Alaska; Anchorage, Alaska
Chris Gronning – Bankston Gronning Brecht, PC; Anchorage, Alaska
Peter Gruenstein – Attorney; Anchorage AK
Adam Gulkis – Solo practitioner; Anchorage, Alaska
Carmen Gutierrez – Retired; Anchorage, Alaska
Andrew Haas – Haas and Spigelmyer, Partner; Homer, Alaska
Emma Haddix – State of Alaska, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Anchorage, AK
Amanda Harber – Attorney; Soldotna
Stephanie Harrod – Associate Attorney, Josephson Law Offices; Anchorage, Alaska
Leone Hatch – Attorney; Fairbanks Alaska
John Havelock – Greunstein Hickey Havelock and Duffy; Anchorage Alaska
John Hedland – Retired., formerly Hedland, Brennan and Heideman; Anchorage
Edward Hein – United States Administrative Law Judge (retired); Juneau, Alaska
Leslie Hiebert – Private Practice; Anchorage
Lindsay Hobson – Attorney; Anchorage, Alaska
Deborah Holbrook – Law Office of Deborah A. Holbrook; Juneau
Lee Holen – Lee Holen Law Office; Anchorage, AK
Katy Howard – Retired Administrative Law Judge; Eagle River, Alaska
Dena Ivey – Attorney; Anchorage, AK
James Jackson – GCI; Crozet, VA
Ryan Jager – Solo Practitioner; Anchorage, Alaska
Matthew Jamin – Jamin Law Office; Kodiak, AK
Andy Josephson – Alaska State Legislature; Anchorage, AK
Joseph Kashi – N/A; Soldotna, AK
Guy Kerner – Alaska Bar Member; Anchorage, Alaska
Beth Kerttula – Former Minority Leader, Alaska State House of Representatives; Juneau, Alaska
Tina Kobayashi – Former Assistant Attorney General, State of Alaska; Juneau, Alaska
Eric Kocher – Attorney at Law; Haines, AK
Tom Koester – Retired Attorney; Juneau, Alaska
Alex Koponen – Alex Koponen, Attorney at Law; Fairbanks, Alaska
Eric Kueffner – Retired from Faulkner Banfield, P.C.; Juneau, Alaska
H. Van Z. Lawrence – Alaska Bar Association–Attorney, Commisioner of the Alaska Public Offices Commission; Fairbanks, Alaska
Averil Lerman – Formerly with the Federal Public Defender; Retired; Alaska
Michael LeVine – Attorney; Juneau, AK
Robert Libbey – Alaska Bar Association-56 years; Anchorage, AK 99516
Erin Lillie – LT Nome Law, PC: Partner; Nome, Alaska
Jahna Lindemuth – Attorney; Anchorage, AK
Thomas Lohman – North Slope Borough Environmental Resource Specialist; Anchorage, AK
Krista Maciolek – Palmer, Ak; attorney; Palmer, Alaska
Annalee McConnell – Former Director, State of Alaska Office of Management and Budget; Juneau AK
Kevin McCoy – Office of the Federal Defender for the District of Alaska; Anchorage, Alaska 99501
Mary Alice McKeen – Administrative Judge, Office of Administrative Appeals, National Marine Fisheries Service (ret.); Juneau
Douglas Mertz – Mertz Law Office; Juneau, Alaska
Julia Metzger – Assistant Public Defender; Anchorage, AK
John Miller – Law Office of Jon M. Miller, LLC; Anchorage, AK
Kristina Miller – CSG, Inc. and Associate Attorney; Fairbanks, Alaska
Wallace Mills – Retired; Halibut Cove, AK
Vivian Munson – Law Office of Vivian Munson; Eagle River
John Murtagh – Solo Private Practice since 1982; Anchorage, AK
Michelle Nesbett – Nesbett Law Offices and former Assistant District Attorney, State of Alaska; Anchorage, Alaska
Camillé Oechsli Taylor – Retired; Anchorage, AK
Deborah ORegan – Alaska Bar Association; Anchorage
Susan Orlansky – Of counsel to Reeves Amodio, LLC; Anchorage, AK
Douglas Parker – Shareholder, Littler Mendelson; Anchorage, AK
Andy Pevehouse – Gilman & Pevehouse; Kenai, Alaska
Janet Platt – Law Offices of Janet D Platt; Anchorage, Alaska
Dawn Reed-Slaten – Attorney; Anchorage, AK
Jerald Reichlin – Owner, Law Office of Jerald M. Reichlin, P.C.; Anchorage
Blake Rider – Alaska Bar Member; Juneau, Alaska
Justin Roberts – General Counsel, IBEW Local 1547; Anchorage
Kenneth Robertson – Robertson Law Office, Inc.; Anchorage, Alaska
William Royce – Law Office of William G Royce; Anchorage, Alaska
Renea Saade – Littler Mendelson – Shareholder; Anchorage, Alaska
Vance Sanders – Sanders Poulson Woolford, LLC; Former President, Alaska Legal Services Corp.; Juneau, Alaska
Megan Sandone – Jermain Dunnagan & Owens; Anchorage, Alaska
David Schmid – Alaska Bar Association—Active Member in good standing; Anchorage, Alaska
R. Scott Scott Taylor – Former Senior Asstistant Attorney General; Private Practice; Anchorage, Alaska
Phil Shanahan – Private practice; former Assistant Public Advocate for State of Alaska; Anchorage, AK
Cameron Sharick – Lawyer; Anchorage Alaska
Helen Sharratt – Legal Services & Guardian Ad Litem; Eagle River, Alaska
Caitlin Shortell – Owner and Attorney, Shortell Law LLC; former assistant attorney general State Department of Law; Anchorage, AK
Sharon Sigmon – Retired; KODIAK
Moira Smith – Attorney; Anchorage, AK
Robert Sparks – Robert A. Sparks Law Office; fairbanks
Marc Andrew Spooner – Walker & Eakes; Anchorage, Alaska
Michael Stanley – N/A; Juneau, Alaska
Michael Stark – Former Assistant Attorney General and Vice Chair Alaska Board of Parole; Juneau AK
Michael Stehle – Law Office of Michael Stehle, PC; anchorage, alaska
Janna Stewart – Former Alaska Court System, retired/inactive; Anchorage Alaska
Margaret Stock – Owner & Attorney, Cascadia Cross Border Law Group LLC; Anchorage, AK
Kathleen Strasbaugh – solo practitioner and former Alaska assistant attorney general; Juneau, AK
Cynthia Strout – Former President of the Alaska Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers; Anchorage, Alaska
Kathryn Swiderski – Attorney; Former Administrative Law Judge and Ass’t Attorney General; Anchorage, AK
Kneeland Taylor – Alaska Bar Association member; Anchorage, Alaska
Meghan Topkok – Attorney; Nome, Alaska
Howard Trickey – Partner, Holland & Knight; Anchorage, Alaska
Valerie Van Brocklin – Former ADA and AUSA; Anchorage, AK
Nancy Wainwright – Wainwright Legal Services, LLC.; Anchorage, Alaska
Dan Wayne – Member of Alaska Bar Association 28 years; Juneau Alaska
W. David Weed – Alaska Bar Association; The State Bar of California (inactive); Anchorage, Alaska
Lisa Weissler – Assistant Attorney General, State of Alaska, Retired; Juneau, Alaska
Tara Wheatland – Attorney; Anchorage, AK
Steve White – Assistant Attorney General, former; Juneau, Alaska
Denise Wike – Anchorage Youth Court Legal Advisor; Anchorage AK
Charles William William Cohen – BLISS RIORDAN, Partner; Juneau, Alaska
Beverly Winslow Cutler – Retired Superior Court Judge; Palmer, Alaska
Jill Wittenbrader – Attorney; AK
Patricia Wong – Attorney, Law Office of Brian Heady; Anchorage, Alaska
Emily Wright – Alaska Bar Member; Juneau, Ak
Larry Zervos – Mediator and Arbitrator; Fairbanks, Alaska