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You can search the entire site. or go to the recent opinions, or the chronological or subject indices. DesJarlais v. State, Office of the Lieutenant Governor (5/3/2013) sp-6777

DesJarlais v. State, Office of the Lieutenant Governor (5/3/2013) sp-6777

        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, email 

        corrections@appellate.courts.state.ak.us. 



                THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF ALASKA 



CLINTON DESJARLAIS,                           ) 

                                              )       Supreme Court No. S-14535 

               Appellant,                     ) 

                                              )       Superior Court No. 3AN-11-05442 CI 

        v.                                    ) 

                                              )       O P I N I O N 

STATE OF ALASKA, OFFICE OF                    ) 

THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR,                      )       No. 6777 - May 3, 2013 

                                              ) 

               Appellee.                      ) 

_______________________________ ) 



               Appeal from the Superior Court of the State of Alaska, Third 

               Judicial District, Anchorage, Patrick J. McKay, Judge. 



               Appearances:        Clinton   DesJarlais,    pro    se,  Anchorage, 

               Appellant.      Laura     Fox,    Assistant    Attorney      General, 

               Anchorage,   and   Michael   C.   Geraghty,   Attorney   General, 

               Juneau, for Appellee. 



               Before: Fabe, Chief Justice, Winfree, Stowers, and Maassen, 

               Justices. [Carpeneti, Justice, not participating.] 



               PER CURIAM. 



I.       INTRODUCTION 



               Clinton DesJarlais filed an application with the Office of the Lieutenant 



Governor seeking certification of an initiative that would generally prohibit abortion. 



The lieutenant governor, acting on the advice of the Department of Law, concluded that 



the initiative was unconstitutional and declined to certify it for circulation.         DesJarlais 


----------------------- Page 2-----------------------

filed   suit   against   the   State   in   superior   court   challenging   the   lieutenant   governor's 



decision.    The   superior   court   granted   summary   judgment   in   favor   of   the   State   and 



DesJarlais appeals.   Because DesJarlais's proposed initiative is clearly unconstitutional 



under controlling United States Supreme Court precedent, we affirm the superior court's 



grant of summary judgment. 



II.     FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS 



                In   November   2010   the   Office   of   the   Lieutenant   Governor   received   an 

application1     for   the   "Natural   Right   to   Life   Initiative." DesJarlais   is   one   of   the   co- 



sponsors of the initiative.   Known as 10NRTL, the initiative proposes the following bill: 



                                  Natural Right to Life Initiative 



                BE IT ENACTED BY THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF 

                ALASKA 



                *Section. 1. AS 18. is amended by adding a new chapter to 

                read: 



                Chapter. 18.01. Natural Right to Life. 



                *Section. 2. 18.01. is amended by adding a new section to 

                read: 



                Section.   18.01.01.   Natural   Right   to   Life.      The   State   of 

                Alaska shall protect the natural right to life and body of all 

                mankind from the beginning of biological development.  We 

                the People affirm that the natural right to life and body of the 

                unborn child supercedes the statutory right of the mother to 

                consent to the injury or death of her unborn child.              In life 

                threatening      situations   the  law   of   necessity   shall   dictate 



        1       An   initiative   is   proposed   by   filing   an  application   with   the   lieutenant 



governor.  AS 15.45.020.  The lieutenant governor has 60 calendar days to either certify 

the initiative or notify the initiative committee of the grounds for denial.  AS 15.45.070. 

Upon   certification,   the   initiative   proceeds   to   the   petition   stage,   where   the   initiative 

sponsors     circulate   it  and  gather   signatures    supporting     its  inclusion   on  the   ballot. 

AS 14.45.090-220. 



                                                   -2-                                             6777
 


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               between the life of the mother and her child. 



               In January 2011, in response to a request from Lieutenant Governor Mead 



Treadwell, the Department of Law reviewed the application for compliance with the 

statutes that prescribe Alaska's initiative process, AS 15.45.0402 and AS 15.45.080.3 



The    Department     concluded     that  10NRTL      "is  intended   to  extinguish    a  woman's 



        2	     AS 15.45.040 provides: 



               The proposed bill shall be in the following form: 



               (1) the bill shall be confined to one subject; 



               (2) the subject of the bill shall be expressed in the title; 



               (3) the enacting clause of the bill shall be: "Be it enacted by 

               the People of the State of Alaska;" 



               (4)    the   bill  may    not   include    subjects    restricted   by 

               AS 15.45.010. 



               AS 15.45.010 provides: 



               The law-making powers assigned to the legislature may be 

               exercised by the people through the initiative.         However, an 

               initiative may not be proposed to dedicate revenue, to make 

               or   repeal   appropriations,    to  create  courts,   to  define  the 

               jurisdiction of courts or prescribe their rules, or to enact local 

               or special legislation. 



        3	     AS 15.45.080 provides: 



               The     lieutenant   governor     shall  deny    certification   upon 

               determining in writing that 



               (1) the proposed bill to be initiated is not confined to one 

               subject or is otherwise not in the required form: 



               (2) the application is not substantially in the required form; or 



               (3) there is an insufficient number of qualified sponsors. 



                                                -3-	                                          6777
 


----------------------- Page 4-----------------------

constitutional right to privacy as recognized by the United States Supreme Court and the 

Alaska   Supreme   Court."4       It   therefore   determined   that   the   proposed   bill   would   be 



"clearly   unconstitutional"   and   in   violation   of   the   prohibited-subject   requirement   of 

AS 15.45.040, and advised the lieutenant governor not to certify the initiative.5                   The 



lieutenant governor followed the Department's recommendation and informed DesJarlais 



of the State's decision in a January 11, 2011 letter. 



                On   February   11,   2011,   DesJarlais   filed   a   complaint   in   superior   court 



challenging   the   lieutenant   governor's   denial   of   his   application.    DesJarlais   filed   an 



additional pleading on September 16, 2011 that appeared to amend his complaint to add 



additional   claims   and   requests   for   relief.  The   State   did   not   oppose   the   additional 



pleading but instead moved for summary judgment on all claims. 



                On November 9, 2011, Superior Court Judge Patrick J. McKay granted the 



State's motion for summary judgment and found that "[a] law forbidding abortion is 



'clearly unconstitutional' under controlling U.S. Supreme Court and Alaska Supreme 



Court precedent. . . . DesJarlais' proposed bill is 'clearly unconstitutional.' "  Following 



the grant of summary judgment, DesJarlais petitioned the superior court to order the 



State's attorneys to produce proof of their law licenses.           The superior court declined to 



issue any such order. 



                DesJarlais appeals, proceeding pro se. 



III.    STANDARD OF REVIEW 



                "We review grants of summary judgment de novo, exercising our own 



independent judgment to determine whether the parties genuinely dispute any material 



facts and, if not, whether the disputed facts entitle the moving party to judgment as a 



        4       See 2009-11 ATT 'Y GEN . OP . 333. 



        5       Id. 



                                                   -4-                                               6777 


----------------------- Page 5-----------------------

matter   of   law."6    Although   we   will   liberally   construe   applicable   constitutional   and 



statutory provisions when reviewing initiative challenges, we have a duty "to carefully 



consider the initiative's subject matter, given the constitutional limits on the people's 

right of direct legislation."7 



IV.	     DISCUSSION 



         A.      The Lieutenant Governor Properly Refused To Certify 10NRTL. 



                 1.	     The State can refuse to certify an initiative where controlling 

                         authority establishes its unconstitutionality. 



                 Article XI, section 1 of the Alaska Constitution guarantees the people of 



Alaska the right to enact laws by initiative:  "The people may propose and enact laws by 



the initiative, and   approve or reject acts of the legislature by the referendum."                     This 



guarantee      is  not   without    limits.     The   Alaska     Constitution     sets   forth   procedural 



requirements that must be followed, as well as restraints on subject matter.                   Article XI, 



section 7 sets forth most of the subject matter restrictions:              "The initiative shall not be 



used   to   dedicate   revenues,   make   or   repeal   appropriations,   create   courts,   define   the 



jurisdiction   of   courts   or   prescribe   their   rules,   or   enact   local   or   special   legislation." 



Article   XII,   section   11   also   provides,   "Unless   clearly   inapplicable,   the   law-making 



powers assigned to the legislature may be exercised by the people through the initiative, 

subject to the limitations of Article XI."8          These constitutional limitations are codified 



         6       Kodiak   Island   Borough   v.   Mahoney ,   71   P.3d   896,   897   (Alaska   2003) 



(internal   quotation   marks   omitted); State   Dep't   of   Health   &   Soc.   Servs.   v.   Planned 

Parenthood of Alaska, Inc. , 28 P.3d 904, 908 (Alaska 2001). 



         7       Kohlhaas   v.   State,   Office   of   Lieutenant   Governor ,   147   P.3d   714,   717 



(Alaska 2006) (Kohlhaas I). 



         8       "The   phrase   'unless   clearly   inapplicable'   was   included   in   the   Alaska 



Constitution so that the initiative would not replace the legislature where the legislature's 

                                                                                            (continued...) 



                                                     -5-	                                              6777
 


----------------------- Page 6-----------------------

in Alaska Statutes 15.45.010 and 15.45.040. 



                Generally,     judicial   review   of   the  constitutionality    of  an  initiative  is 



unavailable until after it has been enacted by the voters, "since an opinion on a law not 

yet enacted is necessarily advisory."9        However, "there are two exceptions to this rule: 



first, where the initiative is challenged on the basis that it does not comply with the 



State's constitutional and statutory provisions regulating initiatives, and second, where 

the initiative is challenged as clearly unconstitutional or clearly unlawful."10 



                A petition may be rejected as "clearly unconstitutional" only "if controlling 

authority leaves no room for argument about its unconstitutionality."11            In Kodiak Island 



Borough v. Mahoney , we considered the circumstances under which a municipal clerk 

may deny a petition as unconstitutional under controlling authority.12                 Rejecting the 



Borough's argument that a clerk may not certify an application for an initiative unless 



the clerk can conclude unequivocally that the proposed ordinance will be enforceable as 



a matter of law, we held that a clerk must presume an initiative to be constitutional absent 



clear authority establishing otherwise, and "may only reject on substantive grounds a 



        8       (...continued) 



power serves as a check on other branches of government, such as legislative power to 

define courts' jurisdiction or override judicial rules." Id. at 717 (internal quotation marks 

omitted). 



        9       Id. 



        10      Carmony v. McKechnie, 217 P.3d 818, 819-20 (Alaska 2009). 



        11      Alaska Action Ctr., Inc. v. Municipality of Anchorage , 84 P.3d 989, 992 



(Alaska   2004)   (citations   omitted); see   also   Brooks   v.   Wright,   971   P.2d   1025,   1027 

(Alaska      1999)    ("General     contentions    that   the   provisions    of   an   initiative   are 

unconstitutional      are  justiciable   only   after  the  initiative  has   been   enacted    by  the 

electorate.") (internal quotation marks and alteration omitted). 



        12      71 P.3d 896, 898 (Alaska 2003). 



                                                  -6-                                            6777
 


----------------------- Page 7-----------------------

pre-election   petition   that   proposes   a  clearly   unconstitutional   ordinance."13        As   an 



example, we noted that "an initiative that is properly submitted procedurally but that 



proposes an ordinance mandating local school segregation based on race" would be 

clearly unconstitutional under controlling United States Supreme Court precedent.14 



                2.      10NRTL is clearly unconstitutional under controlling authority. 



                In Roe v. Wade , the United States Supreme Court held that a state may not 



enact a broad ban on abortion because such a ban would violate a person's constitutional 

right to privacy.15    DesJarlais contends that Roe v. Wade is not controlling precedent 



because "[l]iving preborn children have natural rights to life."  DesJarlais further argues 



that   we   "should    review   the   Superior   Court's   factual   finding   that  Roe   v.   Wade   is 



controlling Federal Case law as clearly erroneous standard.               Human life begins at the 



beginning of biological development.           Therefore, preborn children have natural rights 



secured   by   the   Alaska   Constitution   Article   1   Section   1." DesJarlais   thus   implicitly 

argues16    that   10NRTL   is   not   "clearly   unconstitutional"   because  Roe   v.   Wade   is   not 



controlling authority. 



                The State responds that "the lieutenant governor properly refused to certify 



[10NRTL] and   the   superior   court properly   granted   summary   judgment to   the   state" 



        13      Id. at 898, 900 (emphasis added). 



        14      Id. at 900, n.22 (citing Brown v. Board of Educ. of Topeka, Kan. , 349 U.S. 



294 (1955)); see also Alaska Action Ctr., 84 P.3d at 992 ("The initiative's substance 

must be on the order of a proposal that would mandate local school segregation based 

on race in violation of Brown v. Board of Education before the clerk may reject it on 

constitutional grounds.") (internal quotation marks and alterations omitted). 



        15      410 U.S. 113, 152-65 (1973). 



        16      "We consider pro se pleadings liberally in an effort to determine what legal 



claims have been raised."       Toliver v. Alaska State Comm'n for Human Rights, 279 P.3d 

619, 622 (Alaska 2012). 



                                                  -7-                                             6777
 


----------------------- Page 8-----------------------

because "the proposed bill would forbid abortion except possibly when necessary to save 



a pregnant woman's life."          The State further asserts that under Roe v. Wade  and this 



court's interpretation of the privacy clause of the Alaska Constitution, such a law would 



be "clearly contrary to controlling   constitutional precedent."                The State responds to 



DesJarlais's   contention       that  Roe    v.   Wade   is   not   controlling  authority    by  arguing, 



"Although there is always a possibility that courts will reconsider their past constitutional 



rulings, the lieutenant governor's decision not to certify an initiative must be based on 



the precedent that currently controls, not on speculation about whether that precedent 



will be overturned." 



                 In granting the State's motion for summary judgment, the superior court 



found,   "While   not   stating   explicitly   that   the   bill   is   meant   to   prevent   abortions,   the 



language of the 'Natural Right to Life Initiative,' considered with statements DesJarlais 



made in the application, indicates that the purpose of the proposed bill is to ban abortion 



in most cases."     The superior court, relying on Roe v. Wade and our decision in  Valley 

Hospital Association, Inc. v. Mat-Su Coalition for Choice ,17 concluded that "[a] law 



forbidding abortion is 'clearly unconstitutional' under controlling U.S. Supreme Court 



and   Alaska   Supreme   Court   precedent.   .   .   .    Given   these   longstanding,   controlling 



precedents - which cannot be ignored by either the Office of the Lieutenant Governor 



or this Court - DesJarlais' proposed bill is 'clearly unconstitutional.' " 



                 10NRTL does not explicitly state that it is intended to ban abortion, but it 



provides   that   "the   natural   right   to   life   and   body   of   the   unborn   child   supercedes   the 



statutory right of the mother to consent to the injury or death of her unborn child."                     It 



excepts only life-threatening situations, in which case "the law of necessity shall dictate 



between the life of the mother and her child."             DesJarlais further explained "the intent 



        17       948 P.2d 963 (Alaska 1997). 



                                                    -8-                                                 6777 


----------------------- Page 9-----------------------

of the Law of Necessity" in his letter to the lieutenant governor requesting initiative 



approval: 



                 The Law of Necessity means that in life threatening situations 

                 any act(s) done with the best interests to preserve the life of 

                 the mother and her child would be protected.  For example a 

                 firefighter, involved in [a] car accident, may assess that there 

                 is such a case where both the life of the mother and her child 

                 a   [sic]   certain   to   be   lost   unless   something   is   done. If   a 

                 prosecution      for  the  loss   of   life  took  place   regarding    the 

                 actions taken under these circumstances then they would be 

                 protected upon proof before a jury that the actions were done 

                 to prevent the loss of life of both the mother and her unborn 

                 child. 



                 Controlling United States Supreme Court precedent establishes that a broad 

ban   on   abortion   would   be   "clearly   unconstitutional."18        In  Roe   v.   Wade ,   the   Court 



considered   the   constitutionality   of   Texas   criminal   abortion   statutes   that   prohibited 



abortion   at   any   stage   of   pregnancy   except   where   necessary   to   save   the   life   of   the 

mother.19    The Court held that, although a woman's right to an abortion is not absolute 



and   must   be   considered   against   compelling   state   interests,   a   broad   ban   on   abortion 



violates a woman's constitutional right to privacy:              "[A] state criminal abortion statute 



. . . that excepts from criminality only a life-saving procedure on behalf of the mother, 



without     regard    to  pregnancy      stage   and   without    recognition     of  the   other   interests 

involved, is violative of the Due Process Clause of the Fourth Amendment."20 



         18      See Roe, 410 U.S. at 164 (holding unconstitutional Texas criminal abortion 



statutes prohibiting abortion at any stage of pregnancy except where necessary to save 

mother's life). 



         19      Id. at 117-18. 



        20       Id. at 164.  In Planned Parenthood of Se. Pennsylvania v. Casey , 505 U.S. 



                                                                                            (continued...) 



                                                     -9-                                               6777
 


----------------------- Page 10-----------------------

                DesJarlais's proposed bill would preclude abortion to at least the same 



extent   as   the   Texas   criminal   statutes   at   issue   in  Roe   v.   Wade . The   Texas   statutes 

provided exceptions for abortions where the mother's life was threatened,21 whereas 



DesJarlais's     initiative  would     permit   abortion    only   where   dictated    by  "the   law   of 



necessity," in which case a defendant would still be subject to criminal prosecution. 



Because DesJarlais's initiative would prohibit abortion to an extent that the United States 



Supreme   Court   has   deemed   unconstitutional,   it   is   "clearly   unconstitutional"   under 



controlling authority. 



        B.      The State Is Not Legally Obligated To Outlaw Abortion. 



                Relying on article I, section 1 of the Alaska Constitution, DesJarlais argues 



that "the State of Alaska is Constitutionally bound to preserve life."              DesJarlais argues 



that because human life begins at the beginning of biological development, "preborn 



children have natural rights secured by the Alaska Constitution Article 1 Section 1."  He 



thus implicitly argues that because "preborn children" are protected under the Alaska 



Constitution, the State is legally obligated to outlaw abortion. 



                The State responds that "DesJarlais' arguments that various provisions of 



state and federal law require the state to ban abortion are precluded by . . . controlling 



caselaw . . . .  [B]oth the U.S. Supreme Court and this Court have held that the federal 



        20      (...continued) 



833 (1992), a plurality of the Court adopted a different test than the "compelling state 

interest" test employed in Roe , holding that a state may regulate abortions so long as the 

regulation does not impose an "undue burden" on the woman's ability to decide to have 

an abortion.     Id. at 874.    However, the Court reaffirmed the central holding of Roe : 

"Regardless of whether exceptions are made for particular circumstances, a State may 

not prohibit any woman from making the ultimate decision to terminate her pregnancy 

before viability."    Id. at 875. 



        21      Roe , 410 U.S. at 117-18. 



                                                  -10-                                             6777
 


----------------------- Page 11-----------------------

and state constitutions prohibit states from banning abortion." The State thus argues that 



"the lieutenant governor . . . cannot have violated any state or federal law by failing to 



ban abortion," and summary judgment was properly granted. 



                Article I, section 1 of the Alaska Constitution provides: 



                This constitution is dedicated to the principles that all persons 

                have a natural right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, 

                and the enjoyment of the rewards of their own industry; that 

                all   persons     are   equal    and    entitled   to   equal    rights, 

                opportunities,   and     protection   under   the   law;   and  that   all 

                persons have corresponding obligations to the people and to 

                the State. 



The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution 



provides its own protections to "[a]ll persons born or naturalized in the United States, 

and subject to the jurisdiction thereof."22 



                In Roe v. Wade , the United States Supreme Court expressly held that "the 

word 'person,' as used in the Fourteenth Amendment, does not include the unborn."23 



Thus, even if the State has a constitutional duty to protect all persons' natural right to 



life, as DesJarlais asserts, this duty does not extend to the unborn under controlling 



federal law. Furthermore, the Alaska Constitution cannot guarantee limitless protections 



to the unborn because Roe v. Wade precludes all states from guaranteeing protections to 



        22      U.S. Const. amend. XIV,  1. 



        23      410 U.S. at 158. DesJarlais argues that "[t]he Justices in Roe v. Wade stated 



that life begins at conception (beginning of biological development)."                But contrary to 

DesJarlais's argument, Roe v. Wade does not state that life begins at conception.  The 

Court chose not to "resolve the difficult question of when life begins," concluding that 

the judiciary, "at this point in the development of man's knowledge, is not in a position 

to speculate as to the answer."  Id. at 159. 



                                                 -11-                                            6777
 


----------------------- Page 12-----------------------

the unborn that would ultimately result in a broad ban on abortion.24 



                DesJarlais looks to other jurisdictions for support, arguing that "the U.S. 



8th    Circuit   Court   Ruled    that  preborn    children   are   alive  in  [Planned    Parenthood 

Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota v. Rounds .]"25              We are not bound by the Eighth 



Circuit's decision; rather, we are bound by controlling United States Supreme Court 

precedent and Alaska Supreme Court precedent.26 



                DesJarlais additionally references the United States Constitution, the Bible, 



the Declaration of Independence, maxims of law, the Nuremberg Trials, various Alaska 



statutes and rules of procedure, and various dictionaries, apparently in support of his 



argument that the State should outlaw abortion.   The State correctly responds that many 



of the sources cited by DesJarlais "cannot create cognizable legal claims." 



                DesJarlais's   argument   also   fails   to   recognize   that   we   are   governed   by 

positive constitutional law.27       We are bound to follow the text, structure, and binding 



        24      Id. at 164-65. 



        25      530 F.3d 724 (8th Cir. 2008) (en banc). 



        26      See Roe, 410 U.S. at 164-65; Valley Hosp. Ass'n, Inc. v. Mat-Su Coal. for 



Choice, 948 P.2d 963, 969 (Alaska 1997) (holding that reproductive rights, including the 

right to an abortion, are fundamental rights protected by the Alaska Constitution and 

"may be legally constrained only when the constraints are justified by a compelling state 

interest, and no less restrictive means could advance that interest"). 



        27      See, e.g., Robert P. George, Justice, Legitimacy, and Allegiance: "The End 



of Democracy?" Symposium Revisited, 44 LOY .L. REV . 103, 109 (1998) ("The existence 

and scope of judicial power to invalidate democratically enacted laws, including laws 

whose injustice compromises the principles of democracy itself, is settled not by natural 

law (i.e., the moral law), but by the positive constitutional law of a given democratic 

polity."). 



                                                  -12-                                             6777
 


----------------------- Page 13-----------------------

interpretations of the Constitution.28  Thus, neither we nor the lieutenant governor can 



invalidate a recognized constitutional right, regardless of whether that right purportedly 



conflicts with natural law. 



       C.	    DesJarlais Was Not Improperly Denied His Right To A Jury Trial. 



              DesJarlais argues that the superior court improperly "usurped the authority 



of the people by negating" his right to a jury trial.    DesJarlais suggests that he was 



improperly denied his right to a jury trial because his attorney failed to make a timely 



request on his behalf. 



              The question before the   superior court - whether 10NRTL is "clearly 



unconstitutional" - was purely a legal question to be resolved by the judge, not by a 

jury. 29 DesJarlais's case presented no factual questions that could have been resolved by 



a jury; thus DesJarlais's argument concerning his right to a jury trial is without merit. 



       D.	    The    Superior   Court    Did  Not   Improperly    Refuse   To  Order    The 

              Attorneys And Court To Produce Proof Of Their Law Licenses. 



              DesJarlais argues that judges and attorneys "have a duty to produce their 



oath of office and license to practice law respectively to prove that they are properly 



authorized to stand in their position."    He asserts that while he recognizes "there are 



       28     See, e.g., Philip A. Hamburger,Natural Rights, Natural Law, and American 



Constitutions, 102 YALE L.J. 907, 938 (1993) ("When saying that constitutions and other 

civil laws should be formulated to reflect natural law, Americans typically were not 

suggesting that natural law was a kind of constitutional law or a source for constitutional 

rights not protected by a written constitution.   On the contrary, under modern natural 

rights analysis, constitutional law and natural law were quite distinct from one another 

and played very different roles."). 



       29     See, e.g., Greywolf v. Carroll, 151 P.3d 1234, 1245 (Alaska 2007) (noting 



that factual questions should be resolved by a jury); Dean v. Firor , 681 P.2d 321, 328 

(Alaska 1984) (noting that "the responsibility for deciding questions of law lies with the 

judiciary"). 



                                            -13-	                                     6777
 


----------------------- Page 14-----------------------

active Alaska Bar Association numbers next to pleadings," he has "never once seen a 



State of Alaska license number."     DesJarlais asks us to "specify what a valid State of 



Alaska license to practice law is, so that [he] is with knowledge that the defense lawyers 



are in compliance with License to Practice Law Statutes [sic]." 



              Alaska Statute 08.08.020 provides that "[e]very person licensed to practice 

law in the state shall become a member in the Alaska Bar."30  The Alaska Bar Rules set 



forth the requirements for admission to the practice of law.31 An attorney or judge issued 



a license number has necessarily met these requirements and is licensed to practice law 



in Alaska. 



              Alaska Rule of Civil Procedure 76 provides that if the person signing a 



pleading or paper is an attorney, "the person's Alaska Bar Association membership 



number must be entered following the person's name."        Thus, the pleadings submitted 



by the attorneys in this case provide sufficient proof that the attorneys are authorized to 



practice law in the State of Alaska. 



              Finally, DesJarlais cites no authority for his claim that a judge has a duty 



to produce proof of oath of office.   This argument is without merit. 



V.     CONCLUSION 



              We AFFIRM the superior court's grant of summary judgment. 



       30     AS 08.08.020(a). 



       31     See Alaska Bar R. 5. 



                                            -14-                                        6777 

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