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You can search the entire site. or go to the recent opinions, or the chronological or subject indices. Keller v. French (04/03/2009) sp-6352

Keller v. French (04/03/2009) sp-6352

     Notice:   This opinion is subject to correction  before
     publication  in  the  Pacific  Reporter.   Readers  are
     requested to bring errors to the attention of the Clerk
     of  the  Appellate  Courts, 303  K  Street,  Anchorage,
     Alaska 99501, phone (907) 264-0608, fax (907) 264-0878,

REPRESENTATIVE MIKE KELLY; ) Supreme Court No. S- 13296
SENATOR TOM WAGONER; and ) Superior Court No. 3AN-08-10489 CI
) O P I N I O N
Appellants, )
) No. 6352 April 3, 2009
v. )
Appellees. )

          Appeal  from the Superior Court of the  State
          of    Alaska,   Third   Judicial    District,
          Anchorage, Peter A. Michalski, Judge.

          Appearances: Kevin G. Clarkson, Brena, Bell &
          Clarkson,   P.C.,   Anchorage,    Kelly    J.
          Shackelford, Hiram S. Sasser III,  and  Roger
          Byron, Liberty Legal Institute, Plano, Texas,
          and  Scott  R.  Hoyt, Ashley E. Johnson,  and
          Malachi  O. Boyuls, Gibson, Dunn &  Crutcher,
          Dallas,  Texas,  for  Appellants.   Peter  J.
          Maassen,  Ingaldson,  Maassen  &  Fitzgerald,
          P.C., Anchorage, for Appellees Senator Hollis
          French,   Senator  Kim  Elton,   Stephen   E.
          Branchflower,  Alaska  Legislative   Council,
          Senator  Lyda  Green,  and  Senate  Judiciary
          Committee.  Wayne Anthony Ross, Ross & Miner,
          P.C.,   Anchorage,  for  Amicus  Curiae   Law
          Professors and Legal Scholars.

          Before:   Matthews, Eastaugh, Carpeneti,  and
          Winfree, Justices.  [Fabe, Chief Justice, not

          EASTAUGH, Justice.
          WINFREE,   Justice,  with   whom   CARPENETI,
          Justice, joins, concurring.

          Claiming  that  a  legislative investigation  into  the
governors  dismissal  of the Public Safety Commissioner  violated
the  Alaska  Constitutions fair and just treatment  clause,  five
legislators  sued two other legislators, a permanent  legislative
committee,  and the investigator to halt the investigation.   The
five legislators argue on appeal that the superior court erred in
denying  their  motion  for  a temporary  restraining  order  and
preliminary   injunction,  in  reasoning  that   there   was   no
justiciable  dispute,  and  in dismissing  their  complaint.   We
affirmed  in a highly expedited dispositive order issued  October
9,  2008.  This opinion explains why we did so. We hold that  the
five legislators did not have standing to claim in this case that
there was a violation of the fair and just treatment clause.
          Governor   Sarah   Palin   dismissed   Public    Safety
Commissioner  Walter Monegan on July 11, 2008.  On  July  28  the
Alaska  Legislative  Council,  a bipartisan,1  permanent  interim
committee of the Alaska Legislature,2  initiated an investigation
into the dismissal.  The Legislative Council unanimously passed a
motion  approving  funds  to contract[]  for  legal  services  to
investigate  the  circumstances and events surrounding  [Monegans
termination],  and  potential abuses  of  power  and/or  improper
actions by members of the executive branch, and prepare a report.3
The  motion also directed that the investigation be professional,
unbiased,  independent, objective, and conducted at  arms  length
from  the political process.  The full legislature was in session
when  the Legislative Council passed its motion on July  28,  and
all  members of the Legislative Council attended the  meeting  at
which the motion was passed.
          The  Legislative Council, chaired by Senator Kim Elton,
chose  Senator Hollis French to act as the investigations project
director.   Former  state  prosecutor  Stephen  Branchflower  was
selected  as  the  independent  investigator.   Branchflower  was
originally expected to produce a report to be released on October
31, 2008, but the release date was later changed to October 10.
          On  August  29  Governor Palin was named as  the  vice-
presidential  running  mate  to Republican  presidential  nominee
          Senator John McCain.
          On  September  16  five  state  legislators4  filed   a
superior  court complaint against Senator French, Senator  Elton,
Branchflower, and the Alaska Legislative Council. We refer to the
plaintiff legislators as the Keller plaintiffs.  Their complaint,
filed  in  Case No. 3AN-08-10489 CI, asserted that the defendants
were   conducting  a  McCarthyistic  investigation   and   sought
declaratory and injunctive relief.  The Keller plaintiffs claimed
that  the  investigation  exceeded  the  legislatures  power  and
unconstitutionally  violated  separation  of  powers  principles;
unlawfully  exceeded  the authority granted  to  the  Legislative
Council by motion; violated the due process clause of the  Alaska
Constitution;  and  violated statutory  prohibitions  related  to
conflicts of interest and unethical conduct.
          The  defendants responded on September 24 with a motion
to  dismiss.  On September 25 the Keller plaintiffs moved  for  a
temporary  restraining order and preliminary injunction  to  stop
the investigation immediately.
          Also  on  September 25, seven state employees  who  had
been  subpoenaed in the investigation to appear before the Senate
Judiciary Committee commenced a separate lawsuit, Case No. 3AN-08-
10780 CI, challenging the validity of their subpoenas.5  We refer
to  these  plaintiffs as the Kiesel plaintiffs.   They  sued  the
subpoenas in rem and Senator French, Senator Lyda Green, and  the
Senate Judiciary Committee.
          The superior court consolidated the two lawsuits.
          After  conducting an October 2 hearing  on  the  Keller
plaintiffs temporary restraining order, the superior court  ruled
that  the  claims  of  the  Keller and Kiesel  plaintiffs  raised
nonjusticiable  political  questions,  denied  the   motion   for
injunctive relief, and dismissed both complaints.
          On  October 3 the Keller plaintiffs filed their  appeal
in  this court and asked us to expedite the appeal.  They  sought
an  appellate  decision  by  October  9,  2008,  one  day  before
Branchflower  was  then expected to release the  results  of  the
investigation.  The Kiesel plaintiffs filed notice with  us  that
they  would not participate in the appeal.  The active  appellees
in  this  appeal are Senator French, Senator Elton, Branchflower,
and  the  Legislative  Council  (the  defendants  in  the  Keller
lawsuit)  and  Senator Green and the Senate  Judiciary  Committee
(two of the defendants in the Kiesel lawsuit).6  We refer to  the
active appellees collectively as the French defendants.
          Also  on  October  3  we granted the Keller  plaintiffs
motion  for  an  expedited appeal.  The parties submitted  highly
expedited  briefs.7   The  Keller  plaintiffs  argued  that   the
investigation violated the fair and just treatment clause of  the
Alaska  Constitution.8  They contended that three people involved
with the investigation were or appeared to be biased and that the
investigation violated the legislatures own internal rules.   The
Keller plaintiffs asked us to grant a temporary restraining order
and  to remand for an evidentiary hearing on their motion  for  a
preliminary injunction and for a trial on the merits.
          We  heard oral argument on October 8.  On October 9, we
issued a dispositive order stating:
               Appellants are six legislators who claim
          that    the   Alaska   Legislative   Councils
          investigation  into the dismissal  of  Public
          Safety   Commissioner   Walter   Monegan   is
          unlawful   and   should  be  enjoined.    The
          superior  court denied the appellants  Motion
          for  Temporary Restraining Order and  granted
          the Motion to Dismiss submitted by the Alaska
          Legislative Council and the other defendants.
               At  the request of the appellants for  a
          decision  no  later  than today,  October  9,
          2008,  we  heard the appeal on  an  expedited
          basis.   On  consideration of the October  6,
          2008  appellants brief, the October  6,  2008
          amicus  curiae  brief, the  October  7,  2008
          appellees  brief, and the oral argument  held
          on October 8, 2008,
               It is Ordered: The order of the superior
          court issued on October 2, 2008 granting  the
          Motion  to  Dismiss is Affirmed.  An  opinion
          will follow.[9]

          Whether  a  party has standing to sue is a question  of
law that we review de novo.10
          The parties have focused on two main issues, either  of
which   is  potentially  dispositive:  (1)  whether  the   Keller
plaintiffs have standing to bring this suit; and (2) whether,  as
the  superior  court held, the entire dispute is not justiciable.
Our  resolution  of  the standing issue makes it  unnecessary  to
reach the other issue.
     A.   Whether   the   Keller  Plaintiffs  Have  Standing   To
          Challenge  the French Defendants Alleged Constitutional
          Standing is a rule of judicial self-restraint based  on
the  principle that courts should not resolve abstract  questions
or  issue advisory opinions.11  The Keller plaintiffs argue  that
they  have both citizen-taxpayer and interest-injury standing  to
file suit.  The superior court assumed without deciding that  the
Keller plaintiffs had standing.12
          1.   Citizen-taxpayer standing
          1.   To establish citizen-taxpayer standing, plaintiffs must show
that  the  case   is  of public significance and  that  they  are
appropriate plaintiffs.13  We have held that a plaintiff was  not
appropriate when the plaintiff was a sham plaintiff with no  true
adversity  of  interest;  when the  plaintiff  was  incapable  of
competently  advocating his or her position; and when  there  was
another  potential  plaintiff  more  directly  affected  by   the
challenged conduct who had sued or was likely to sue.14
          We  agree with the Keller plaintiffs that they were not
sham  plaintiffs  and  that  they  were  capable  of  competently
          advocating their positions.  And we assume, without deciding,
that  an alleged violation of the fair and just treatment  clause
is  a matter of public significance.  But there is nonetheless  a
substantial  question here as to whether other  persons  who  are
more directly affected have sued or are likely to sue.
          The  Keller  plaintiffs argue that no  other  potential
plaintiffs who are more directly affected have sued or are likely
to   sue.   At  a  minimum,  this  argument  ignores  the  Kiesel
plaintiffs,  who were more directly affected by the investigation
and  who  actually  sued some of the French defendants.   As  the
subpoenaed  witnesses,  the  Kiesel  plaintiffs  were  among  the
classes of persons in this investigation most obviously protected
by  the fair and just treatment clause.  They did not allege  any
violation  of the fair and just treatment clause in the  superior
court.   But  had  they thought they were being mistreated,  they
would  have  been far more appropriate plaintiffs  to  make  that
claim than the Keller plaintiffs, none of whom self-identified as
either a witness or a target of the investigation.  We have  held
that  an appellant did not have citizen-taxpayer standing when  a
more directly affected plaintiff had already filed suit based  on
closely   related  claims,  even  though  the  claims  were   not
identical.15   We likewise reject the Keller plaintiffs  argument
that no other plaintiffs more directly affected by the challenged
conduct have sued.
          In   addition  to  the  subpoenaed  plaintiffs,  as  of
October 9 when we issued our dispositive order there was at least
one  other potential plaintiff who was directly affected  by  the
investigation  and  who was fully capable of suing.   The  Keller
plaintiffs concede that Governor Palin was arguably more directly
concerned,  but  argue that she is unlikely to sue.   They  argue
that  the  governor  stated  that she would  cooperate  with  the
investigation, and that this, along with the fact that she was in
the  middle of a national election campaign, indicated  that  she
was  not  going  to  bring suit.16  Their interpretation  of  the
citizen-taxpayer  standing test is  too  literal.   Even  if  the
governor  did not intend to sue, there is no indication that,  if
she  thought her rights were being violated, she would be  unable
to do so.  The Keller plaintiffs do not contend that the governor
or  any other potential plaintiffs were somehow limited in  their
ability  to sue.  That individuals who are more directly affected
have  chosen not to sue despite their ability to do so  does  not
confer citizen-taxpayer standing on an inappropriate plaintiff.
          We  have  denied citizen-taxpayer standing  on  similar
grounds  before.   In Kleven v. Yukon-Koyukuk School  District  a
former employee who filed a grievance but resigned before it  was
resolved   sued  to  challenge  his  former  employers  grievance
process.17   We  held  that the employee lacked  citizen-taxpayer
standing  because  the  remaining  employees  were  in  a  better
position to raise the complaints and because we had no reason  to
believe that current . . . employees would be indisposed to press
legitimate  grievances.18  That decision did  not  hinge  on  the
likelihood that the current employees would sue.  Here  there  is
no  reason  to believe that any potentially implicated  executive
branch  officials, including the governor, would be unwilling  to
          sue if they thought their rights were being violated during the
investigation.    We  therefore  reject  the  Keller   plaintiffs
argument  that no other plaintiff more directly affected  by  the
challenged conduct is likely to sue.
          Comparing other potential parties claims with those  of
the  Keller  plaintiffs reveals how indirectly, if  at  all,  the
investigation affected the Keller plaintiffs.  The fair and  just
treatment  clause  was written to avoid the excesses  which  [the
delegates]  felt  were characterized by the  conduct  of  Senator
Joseph McCarthy, including vilification, character assassination,
and  an  intimation of guilt by association.19  Witnesses in  the
investigation,  targets of the investigation,  or  any  executive
branch  employee  potentially implicated  in  Monegans  dismissal
could  have  been appropriate plaintiffs in an action to  enforce
the  constitutions  protection.20  Such persons  would  be  in  a
position  to be vilified, have their characters assassinated,  or
be  found guilty by association during an investigation that  was
not  fair  and  just.   But  there is no  indication  the  Keller
plaintiffs  might  personally be exposed to any  such  abuses  of
legislative  power;  they do not claim that they  were  potential
witnesses  or  investigative targets, or that  the  investigation
would somehow implicate them in Monegans dismissal.
          As  the  French defendants argue, it appears the Keller
plaintiffs  are  attempting to assert the  individual  rights  of
potential  or  imaginary third parties.   We  have  never  before
allowed  citizen-taxpayer standing to be used in this  way.   The
Keller  plaintiffs  assert that we did so  in  State  v.  Planned
Parenthood  of Alaska.21  But we did not discuss citizen-taxpayer
standing in that case.  Instead, we held that the plaintiffs  had
interest-injury standing and third-party standing, both of  which
are distinct from citizen-taxpayer standing.22
          As  we have noted before, [g]enerally, a litigant lacks
standing  to  assert the constitutional rights of another.23   We
have  recognized  third-party standing, but not  citizen-taxpayer
standing,  as an exception to this rule.24  The Keller plaintiffs
do  not rely on third-party standing, but invoke citizen-taxpayer
standing in attempting to achieve the same result.  We decline to
allow  the  use of citizen-taxpayer standing as a substitute  for
third-party standing here.
          2.   Interest-injury standing
          The Keller plaintiffs alternatively argue that they had
interest-injury  standing  to sue.  To establish  interest-injury
standing  plaintiffs must demonstrate that they have a sufficient
personal stake in the outcome of the controversy25 and an interest
which is adversely affected by the complained-of conduct.26   The
degree of the injury need not be great: an identifiable trifle is
sufficient  to  establish standing to fight  out  a  question  of
principle.27  The Keller plaintiffs contend that their  complaint
articulates   an  identifiable  trifle   sufficient   to   confer
standing, but they do not specify what their actual injury was.
          In  a section of their brief unrelated to the issue  of
standing,  the Keller plaintiffs contend that they  and  Alaskans
face damaged reputations if the investigation continues.  They do
not develop this argument further, and in oral argument on appeal
          asserted only that they had citizen-taxpayer standing.  It is not
self-evident  that  the investigation was  likely  to  cause  the
Keller  plaintiffs any sort of harm, nor was the  nature  of  any
possible  harm so self-evident that we must take judicial  notice
of   it.    Any  claim  of  interest-injury  standing  based   on
reputational  harm  is not adequately briefed  and  is  therefore
waived on appeal.28
          The Keller plaintiffs also seem to argue that they have
interest-injury standing because the subpoenaed plaintiffs in the
consolidated case had interest-injury standing.  But the standing
of  the  Kiesel plaintiffs does not confer standing on the Keller
plaintiffs.  Each partys standing is evaluated independently, and
one  partys  standing  does  not confer  standing  on  another.29
Because the Keller plaintiffs allege no plausible injury to their
own interests, they lack interest-injury standing.
          Given  the Keller plaintiffs lack of standing to  bring
this  suit,  we  do  not consider whether it was  error  for  the
superior  court  to  hold  that the Keller  plaintiffs  complaint
raises nonjusticiable political questions.
          We  AFFIRM  the  superior courts denial of  the  Keller
plaintiffs   motion  for  a  temporary  restraining   order   and
preliminary  injunction, and its grant of the  French  defendants
motion to dismiss.
WINFREE,   Justice,   with   whom  CARPENETI,   Justice,   joins,
          I  write  separately  to  emphasize  two  separate  but
intertwining aspects of my support for the courts decision.
          The  constitutional  right to fair and  just  treatment
during  a  legislative investigation is a  personal  right.   The
court  expressly  notes  that without  a  basis  for  third-party
standing, as in this case, a litigant generally lacks standing to
assert  the  personal  constitutional rights  of  another.   This
strongly suggests to me that although the potential violation  of
an  individuals personal constitutional rights may be a matter of
great interest to the public, at least when the individual is the
governor,  it is not a matter of public significance  upon  which
citizen-taxpayer  standing may be grounded.  Our  cases  granting
citizen-taxpayer standing have involved matters affecting  rights
and  interests beyond a single individual.1  The matters in  this
case  do  not  reach the level of public significance  justifying
citizen-taxpayer standing for the Keller plaintiffs; that  others
are in a better position to bring suit simply confirms my view.
          The   Keller  plaintiffs  oblique  connection  to   the
constitutional  right  to fair and just  treatment  suggests  yet
another reason to deny citizen-taxpayer standing.  In contrast to
the  Kiesel  plaintiffs case, the core of the  Keller  plaintiffs
case  does not really concern the protection of individual rights
it  concerns  a  dispute between legislators, in  their  official
capacities,  about  the power and authority  of  the  Legislative
Council  and how legislative investigations should be  conducted.
This  dispute raises legitimate and important questions,  but  we
have  long  made  clear  our aversion  to  court  involvement  in
internal  disputes  of the legislature.2   We  have  stated  that
courts   may   intervene  to  protect  against  the  legislatures
infringement of personal rights,3 but common sense suggests  that
intervention  must  be  at the instance of one  whose  individual
rights  may  be violated, not at the instance of legislators  who
oppose  their  colleagues use of legislative  power.   Concluding
otherwise  and recognizing citizen-taxpayer standing under  these
circumstances  would allow an exception to swallow  our  rule  of
declining  to  decide political questions arising  from  internal
legislative disputes.

     1       The    Legislative   Council   consists   of   seven
representatives  and seven senators.  Ten are  Republicans;  four
are Democrats.

     2    AS

     3     A  unanimous  vote  is a vote  in  which  every  voter
concurs.   Blacks  Law Dictionary 1607 (8th  ed.  2004).   Either
eleven  or  twelve  of  the councils fourteen  members  voted  to
approve  the motion.  No members voted against it.   The  two  or
three   remaining  members  were  present  at  the  meeting   but
apparently did not vote.

     4     These five legislators are Representatives Wes Keller,
Mike  Kelly,  and  Bob  Lynn, and Senators  Fred  Dyson  and  Tom
Wagoner.   Plaintiffs  moved in the superior  court  to  file  an
amended complaint that would include Representative Carl Gatto as
a  party, but the superior court did not rule on the motion.   It
was  not clear to the court when we issued our dispositive  order
that  Representative Gatto should not be treated as an appellant.
Our  dispositive order counted Representative Gatto and  included
him in the caption.  We have corrected the caption here.

     5     The  seven state employees who sued are Dianne Kiesel,
Annette  Kreitzer,  Janice  Mason, Nicki  Neal,  Michael  Nizich,
Kristina Perry, and Brad Thompson.

     6     The Kiesel plaintiffs are automatically classified  in
this  appeal as appellees per Alaska Appellate Rule 204(g).   But
in this opinion we use appellees to refer only to the individuals
and  legislative  entities sued in personam in  the  consolidated
cases.   The  seven  employees later  filed  their  own  separate
appeal, Case No. S-13322.  That appeal is pending.

     7     We  commend  the  parties and their  counsel  for  the
excellence  of  their briefs and arguments, for their  procedural
cooperation, and for the assistance they have given this court.

     8     Article  I,  section  7  of  the  Alaska  Constitution
provides:  No  person  shall be deprived  of  life,  liberty,  or
property,  without due process of law.  The right of all  persons
to  fair  and  just  treatment in the course of  legislative  and
executive  investigations  shall  not  be  infringed.   (Emphasis
added.)  The emphasized text is commonly referred to as the  fair
and just treatment clause.

     9    Keller v. French, 194 P.3d 364 (Alaska 2008).

     10     St.  Paul Church, Inc. v. Bd. of Trs. of  the  Alaska
Missionary Conference of the United Methodist Church,  Inc.,  145
P.3d 541, 549-50 (Alaska 2006).

     11     Ruckle  v. Anchorage Sch. Dist., 85 P.3d  1030,  1034
(Alaska 2004).

     12     The Keller plaintiffs state that [t]he superior court
correctly found that Appellants[] have standing to assert[] their
claims.  But the superior court actually resolved the case  while
[a]ssuming  that  the  plaintiffs have standing  to  assert  such
claims.  (Emphasis added.)

     13    Trustees for Alaska v. State, 736 P.2d 324, 329 (Alaska

     14    Id. at 329-30.

     15    Ruckle, 85 P.3d at 1034-37 (holding that superior court
did  not  err  in  concluding plaintiff  lacked  citizen-taxpayer
standing  because  another plaintiff more directly  affected  had
already brought suit raising nearly identical claims).

     16     The  final  brief was submitted October  7  and  oral
argument  took place October 8.  We issued our dispositive  order
October  9, 2008.  Keller v. French, 194 P.3d 364 (Alaska  2008).
The election took place November 4, 2008.

     17     Kleven v. Yukon-Koyukuk Sch. Dist., 853 P.2d 518, 526
(Alaska 1993); see also State v. Lewis, 559 P.2d 630, 635 (Alaska
1977)  (holding that party had taxpayer standing in part  because
there  is  no  one  in  a  better position  to  complain  of  the
constitutional  violations alleged here).  But see  Trustees  for
Alaska,  736  P.2d at 330 (holding that party had  standing  even
though more directly affected potential plaintiff could have sued
because that potential party ha[d] not sued nor [were] there  any
indications  that he plan[ned] to do so); Baxley  v.  State,  958
P.2d  422,  429 (Alaska 1998) (The mere possibility that  another
party  might sue, however, does not necessarily justify a  denial
of standing.).

     18    Kleven, 853 P.2d at 526.

     19     OLeary v. Superior Court, Third Jud. Dist., 816  P.2d
163, 172 (Alaska 1991).

     20      Even   though  the  Keller  plaintiffs   fault   the
investigation  in  part  because it fails  to  identify  specific
targets  other than the governor, this does not mean,  under  the
circumstances of this case, that they should have  standing.   We
assume  that  any target revealed later during the investigations
course  likewise  would be fully capable of raising  a  claim  of
constitutional  abuse  if they thought they  were  being  treated
unfairly and unjustly under article 1, section 7.

     21     State v. Planned Parenthood of Alaska, 35 P.3d 30, 34
(Alaska 2001).

     22     Id.  at  34.   We held that physician-plaintiffs  had
standing  to  challenge  a statute that required  minors  seeking
abortions to first obtain parental consent.  Id.  In addition  to
interest-injury  standing, the physicians  had  standing  on  the
separate   universally  settled  grounds  that  physicians   have
standing  to  challenge  abortion laws on behalf  of  prospective
patients.  Id.  We did not use the term third-party standing, but
cited  to  similar  cases  that  based  standing  on  third-party
standing analysis.  Id.

     23     State  ex  rel. Depts of Transp. & Labor  v.  Enserch
Alaska Constr., Inc., 787 P.2d 624, 630 n.9 (Alaska 1989) (citing
Falcon  v.  Alaska  Pub. Offices Commn, 570 P.2d  469,  475  n.20
(Alaska  1977); Wagstaff v. Superior Court, 535 P.2d  1220,  1225
(Alaska 1975)).

     24     Id.  at 630 n.9 (citing Bonjour v. Bonjour, 592  P.2d
1233,  1241 n.15 (Alaska 1979) (holding that parent has  standing
to  assert childs constitutional rights); Falcon, 570 P.2d at 475
(holding  that  standing may be conferred  on  third  party  when
interested partys attempt to vindicate rights would forfeit these
very  rights)); see also Gilbert M. v. State, 139 P.3d  581,  587
(Alaska  2006)  (stating that we have . . . allowed  third  party
standing   where  a  special  relationship  exists  between   the
plaintiff and the third party  (internal citation omitted)).

     25     Ruckle  v. Anchorage Sch. Dist., 85 P.3d  1030,  1040
(Alaska  2004)  (quoting Moore v. State, 553 P.2d 8,  23  (Alaska

     26     Alaskans for a Common Language, Inc. v. Kritz, 3 P.3d
906, 915 (Alaska 2000) (citing Trustees for Alaska v. State,  736
P.2d 324, 327 (Alaska 1987)).

     27     Ruckle,  85  P.3d  at 1040-41 (quoting  Trustees  for
Alaska, 736 P.2d at 327).

     28     See Adamson v. Univ. of Alaska, 819 P.2d 886, 899 n.3
(Alaska  1991) ([W]here a point is given only a cursory statement
in  the  argument  portion of a brief,  the  point  will  not  be
considered on appeal. (internal citations omitted)).

     29     See, e.g., State v. Planned Parenthood of Alaska,  35
P.3d  30,  34  (Alaska  2001) (evaluating as  separate  questions
whether two groups of plaintiffs had standing).

     1     See Trustees for Alaska v. State, 736 P.2d 324, 328-29
(Alaska 1987) (and cases discussed therein); Baxley v. State, 958
P.2d   422,  428-29  (Alaska  1998);  State  v.  Enserch   Alaska
Construction, Inc., 787 P.2d 624, 630 (Alaska 1989).

     2    Malone v. Meekins, 650 P.2d 351, 356, 359 (Alaska 1982)
(declining  to  intervene  in dispute between  legislators  about
election   of  house  officers,  stating,  among  other   things:
(1)   although  the  judicial  branch  of  government   has   the
constitutionally  mandated  duty to ensure  compliance  with  the
provisions  of  the Alaska Constitution, including compliance  by
the  legislature. . . . we believe that a proper  recognition  of
the  respective  roles  of  the  legislature  and  the  judiciary
requires   that  the  latter  not  intervene  [in  the   internal
organization  of  the  legislature]  and  (2)  that   except   in
extraordinary circumstances, as where the rights of  persons  who
are  not  members of the legislature are involved, it is not  the
function of the judiciary to require that the legislature  follow
its  own  rules.);  Abood v. Gorsuch, 703 P.2d 1158, 1164 (Alaska
1985)  (affirming  Malone  v.  Meekins  holding  regarding   non-
justiciability of claims between legislators about violations  of
legislative  rules); Abood v. League of Women Voters  of  Alaska,
743  P.2d 333, 339 (Alaska 1987) (same, but reiterating that non-
justiciability  would not bar review of claim that  violation  of
legislative rules infringed on the rights of a third party).

     3     Abood v. League of Women Voters of Alaska, 743 P.2d at
339; Malone, 650 P.2d at 359.

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