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37 Alaska L. Rev. i (2020)

handle is hein.journals/allr37 and id is 1 raw text is: 











          NOTE FROM THE EDITOR

     The Alaska Law Review is pleased to present our June 2020 issue,
which is the first in our thirty-seventh volume. The scholarly works in this
issue address numerous  timely topics with particular significance for
Alaska. From  the  Permanent  Fund  dividend  program  to education
funding, and from data privacy to domestic violence protective orders,
the topics reviewed in the following article, notes, and comments are
connected by more  than just their importance to the state. Each piece
explores some aspect of one of the pillars of a functioning constitutional
democracy: the separation of powers and the collective responsiveness of
the branches  of government.  Whether   considering the legislature's
response to a judicial opinion, the courts' checks on executive power, or
the successes and failures in drafting and construing constitutional and
statutory provisions, the following scholarship grapples with issues
familiar to the entire country. These more universal topics gain special
importance when  coupled with Alaska's unique challenges and strengths,
providing insight into the resilience of Alaska's democracy.
     In Did the Alaska Supreme Court Get it Right in Its Decision in the Alaska
Permanent Fund Dividend Case?, Jack Brian McGee examines the history of
the Permanent Fund  dividend program and the Alaska Supreme Court's
decision in Wielechowski v. State upholding the governor's power to
reduce the annual  dividend. Based on  the court's own principles of
constitutional interpretation, Mr. McGee argues that the constitutional
amendment   that established the Permanent Fund also vested authority in
the legislature to dedicate the Fund's income, exempting that income
from  the constitutional prohibition on dedicated funds. Because the
legislature exercised that authority when it established the statutory
scheme  regulating the dividend program, including the mechanism for
determining the annual dividend's amount, the dividend program does
not require an appropriation and is not subject to the governor's veto. Mr.
McGee  concludes  that the court incorrectly decided Wielechowski with
detrimental  consequences  for the  long-term  management of the
Permanent  Fund dividend program.
     Our first student note, Alaska's Explicit Right to Privacy Warrants
Greater Protection of Alaskans' Personal Data, presents how the legislature
can more effectively protect Alaskans' data privacy rights. Eric Buchanan
argues that existing state law fails to adequately protect Alaskans from
the exploitation of private companies. The Alaska Constitution explicitly
establishes a right to privacy and tasks the legislature with protecting that

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