Walker, Mallott oppose Kavanaugh confirmation

Governor’s office says appointment could jeopardize Indian Child Welfare Act

Gov. Bill Walker and Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott, citing issues with health care, labor and tribal self-determination, voiced their opposition on Sept. 20 to confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Walker and Mallott said in a statement issued by the governor’s office that Kavanaugh’s record does not demonstrate a commitment to legal precedent that protects working families, and that key aspects of the nation’s healthcare and labor laws may be at risk if Kavanaugh receives a lifetime appointment.

They also said that Kavanaugh’s appointment could jeopardize the Indian Child Welfare Act, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act and other laws that enable tribal self-determination “due to his overly narrow view of the relationship between federal and tribal governments.”

Walker and Mallott also expressed concern over allegations against Kavanaugh regarding violence against women, noting that violence against women is epidemic in Alaska. “We do not condone placing someone into one of our nation’s highest positions of power while so many key questions remain unanswered,” they said.

The state’s opposition on Kavanaugh’s nomination comes on the heels of a statement issued by the Alaska Federation of Natives, saying that AFN was joining with colleagues and friends across Indian country to Kavanaugh because of, among other things, his view on rights of Native peoples. AFN described as “misguided” Kavanaugh’s view of the special trust responsibility of the federal government with federally recognized Indian tribes.

The proposed confirmation of Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court has triggered a heated nationwide discussion over the matter, with the latest issue being accusations from a California college professor who has accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault when both of them were students at private high schools in the Washington D.C. area.  Christine Blasey Ford, a psychologist and professor of statistics at Palo Alto University in California, said Kavanaugh was very drunk when he grabbed her at a party, dragged her into a bedroom and sexually assaulted her. Kavanaugh said he had no memory of the incident.


As of Wednesday, Sept. 20, Ford had reopened discussions that could lead to her testifying about the incident next week before a congressional committee.  Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, whose vote would be critical in the confirmation process, has said she believes both Ford and Kavanaugh should testify under oath to the Senate Judiciary Committee.