Legislature(2019 - 2020)GRUENBERG 120

02/25/2019 01:00 PM JUDICIARY

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Audio Topic
01:01:58 PM Start
01:02:31 PM Confirmation Hearing(s): Department of Law, Attorney General
02:50:04 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Consideration of Governor's Appointees: TELECONFERENCED
Attorney General Designee Kevin Clarkson, Dept.
of Law
-- Public Testimony --
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                       February 25, 2019                                                                                        
                           1:01 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Matt Claman, Chair                                                                                               
Representative Gabrielle LeDoux, Vice Chair                                                                                     
Representative Chuck Kopp                                                                                                       
Representative Louise Stutes                                                                                                    
Representative Adam Wool                                                                                                        
Representative Laddie Shaw                                                                                                      
Representative David Eastman                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CONFIRMATION HEARING(S):                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Attorney General, Department of Law                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Kevin Clarkson - Juneau                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     - CONFIRMATION(S) ADVANCED                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
KEVIN CLARKSON                                                                                                                  
Attorney General Designee                                                                                                       
Department of Law                                                                                                               
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified and answered questions during his                                                              
confirmation hearing for attorney general.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
ROBIN BRENA, Managing Attorney                                                                                                  
Brena, Bell & Clarkson                                                                                                          
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of Kevin Clarkson                                                                   
during the confirmation hearing.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CLARK NICHOLS                                                                                                                   
Perkins & Coie                                                                                                                  
Bellevue, Washington                                                                                                            
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Testified  in  support  of Kevin  Clarkson                                                             
during the confirmation hearing.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ERIC SANDERS, Attorney                                                                                                          
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Testified  in  support  of Kevin  Clarkson                                                             
during the confirmation hearing.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
JEFF FELDMAN, Professor                                                                                                         
University of Washington                                                                                                        
Seattle, Washington                                                                                                             
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Testified  in  support  of Kevin  Clarkson                                                             
during the confirmation hearing.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
LOREN LEMAN                                                                                                                     
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Testified  in  support  of Kevin  Clarkson                                                             
during the confirmation hearing.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
JOHN THORSNESS                                                                                                                  
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Testified  in  support  of Kevin  Clarkson                                                             
during the confirmation hearing.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MIKE GERAGHTY                                                                                                                   
Former Attorney General                                                                                                         
State of Alaska                                                                                                                 
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Testified  in  support  of Kevin  Clarkson                                                             
during the confirmation hearing.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
KARYN WARNER                                                                                                                    
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in  opposition to the confirmation                                                             
of Kevin Clarkson.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
BESSIE ODAM                                                                                                                     
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in  opposition to the confirmation                                                             
of Kevin Clarkson.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
ZHENIA PETERSON                                                                                                                 
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in  opposition to the confirmation                                                             
of Kevin Clarkson.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
ROBIN SMITH                                                                                                                     
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in  opposition to the confirmation                                                             
of Kevin Clarkson.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
LIN DAVIS                                                                                                                       
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in  opposition to the confirmation                                                             
of Kevin Clarkson.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
ALYSON CURREY, Legislative Liaison                                                                                              
Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest                                                                                              
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in  opposition to the confirmation                                                             
of Kevin Clarkson.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
STACEY LUCASON                                                                                                                  
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in  opposition to the confirmation                                                             
of Kevin Clarkson.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
DARIO NOTTI                                                                                                                     
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in  opposition to the confirmation                                                             
of Kevin Clarkson.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MIKE COONS, President                                                                                                           
Greater  Alaska Chapter  of the  Association  of Mature  American                                                               
Citizens (AMAC)                                                                                                                 
Palmer, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Testified  in  support  of Kevin  Clarkson                                                             
during the confirmation hearing.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
LYNETTE CLARK                                                                                                                   
Fox, Alaska                                                                                                                     
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Testified  in  support  of Kevin  Clarkson                                                             
during the confirmation hearing.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CRIS EICHENLAUB                                                                                                                 
Eagle River, Alaska                                                                                                             
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Testified  in  support  of Kevin  Clarkson                                                             
during the confirmation hearing.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:01:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MATT  CLAMAN called the House  Judiciary Standing Committee                                                             
meeting to order  at 1:01 p.m.   Representatives Claman, Eastman,                                                               
Kopp,  Shaw,  and LeDoux  were  present  at  the call  to  order.                                                               
Representatives Wool  and Stutes  arrived as  the meeting  was in                                                               
progress.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
^CONFIRMATION HEARING(S): Department of Law, Attorney General                                                                 
                    CONFIRMATION HEARING(S):                                                                                
              Department of Law, Attorney General                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:02:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN announced  that the only order of  business would be                                                               
a confirmation hearing for the Attorney General.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:03:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KEVIN  CLARKSON, Attorney  General Designee,  Department of  Law,                                                               
shared his  personal background, growing up  in Oregon, attending                                                               
college  at  Oregon State  University,  and  graduating from  the                                                               
Willamette University law  school.  He noted that  his father was                                                               
a police officer  at Oregon State University.   He explained that                                                               
his plan  after law school  had been to work  with a law  firm in                                                               
the Pacific Northwest,  but that, upon interviewing  with the law                                                               
firm  Perkins Coie,  he  was informed  the  Portland and  Seattle                                                               
openings  had already  been filled.   Perkins  Coie informed  him                                                               
that  there  was   an  opening  in  the   Anchorage  office  and,                                                               
subsequently, when  he flew  to Anchorage in  March 1985,  he was                                                               
impressed  and  decided  to  work  there  for  two  years  before                                                               
returning to the Pacific Northwest.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:07:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CLARKSON discussed  his 34-year  law career  in Alaska,  the                                                               
first 10 years  with Perkins Coie, and the  subsequent years with                                                               
Brena, Bell, and Clarkson.  He  offered his belief that this lack                                                               
of  movement among  firms reflected  his dedication  and loyalty,                                                               
adding that "anyone who looks at  me and thinks that I don't have                                                               
a depth of experience, with all  due respect to them, they really                                                               
don't know me  very well."  He reported that  about 90 percent of                                                               
his legal practice consisted of  a wide range of civil litigation                                                               
for a  wide variety of  clients, adding that "every  case brought                                                               
something  new."   He acknowledged  that,  although this  brought                                                               
stress, he  had appreciation  for this depth  of experience.   He                                                               
stated  that  "challenges are  a  good  thing."   He  listed  his                                                               
clients    to    include     individuals,    small    businesses,                                                               
municipalities,  boroughs, electric  utilities, the  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature,  the State  of Alaska,  Alaska Native  Corporations,                                                               
air  carriers,  the  Alaska  Bar  Association,  and  Fortune  500                                                               
corporations.    He reported  that  he  had participated  in  and                                                               
chaired  both disciplinary  and  fee arbitration  panels for  the                                                               
Alaska Bar  Association.   He noted that  he had  represented his                                                               
clients in both  federal and state courts throughout  Alaska.  He                                                               
added that he  had worked on more than 50  appeals, with about 30                                                               
cases in  front of the Alaska  Supreme Court.  He  shared that he                                                               
had  litigated cases  involving  tax  issues, employment  issues,                                                               
contract disputes, construction  disputes, professional liability                                                               
claims, business dissolutions,  partnerships, joint ventures, and                                                               
complex  oil   and  gas   sale  contracts   involving  producers,                                                               
shippers, and  refiners.   He added that  he had  litigated cases                                                               
involving  elaborate criminal  and fraudulent  schemes, including                                                               
six  cases   involving  the  Racketeer  Influenced   and  Corrupt                                                               
Organizations Act (RICO).  He  pointed out that, after the recent                                                               
gubernatorial election,  when he was  asked to create a  list for                                                               
prospective  attorneys general  he had  not listed  himself.   He                                                               
shared that  the governor  had then  persuaded him  by explaining                                                               
his vision  for "what  he wanted to  accomplish for  Alaska... to                                                               
promote  and  protect  Alaska's   interests  and  protect  public                                                               
safety, support  our law  enforcement and  our prosecutors."   He                                                               
opined that  upon reflection on  the memory  of his father  as an                                                               
Oregon State  police officer  and "how good  Alaska's been  to me                                                               
and my  family," he had  decided "it  was time to  give something                                                               
back."   He asked,  "for the  honor of  your confirmation  to the                                                               
Alaska attorney general."                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:13:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STUTES,  referencing  the  letters  submitted  in                                                               
opposition to his confirmation, asked who were his supporters.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. CLARKSON  opined that  this support  would be  offered during                                                               
live  testimony, directing  attention to  those comments  for his                                                               
confirmation offered during the Senate committee hearings.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:15:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN  asked for his  assessment to the  role of                                                               
attorney general.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CLARKSON offered  his belief  that the  role would  be as  a                                                               
legal  advisor to  the governor  and as  a representative  of the                                                               
State of Alaska  and the Office of the Governor.   He stated that                                                               
his role  would include the  offer to  give the Governor  and the                                                               
various departments,  and perhaps  the legislature "from  time to                                                               
time," "the best legal advice that  I can give them based on what                                                               
the law is."                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN  asked if  he would characterize  the role                                                               
of attorney general as the top prosecutor for the state.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. CLARKSON acknowledged  that he would be  the highest official                                                               
within  the  Department  of  Law  with  responsibility  over  the                                                               
criminal division.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN  asked how,  as attorney general  and head                                                               
of the  Department of  Law, he  would handle  a situation  if the                                                               
governor was violating state law.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. CLARKSON replied  that he would explain to  the governor what                                                               
the law required and explain  how this conduct was not compatible                                                               
with the law.  He pointed out  that the check on the governor was                                                               
the  judiciary, the  other co-equal  branch of  government, which                                                               
was charged  with protection of the  constitution and enforcement                                                               
of the state laws.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN  asked if he  would prosecute, as  head of                                                               
the Department of  Law, should the governor  persist in violating                                                               
the state law.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. CLARKSON opined  that no one in the state  was above the law,                                                               
noting  that there  were prosecutors  in the  state who  would be                                                               
charged with prosecuting any crime no matter who committed it.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   EASTMAN  asked   if  he   would  personally   be                                                               
comfortable prosecuting  the governor, or would  he delegate this                                                               
to another prosecutor.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. CLARKSON  shared that in some  cases it was necessary  for an                                                               
attorney to recuse himself.   He questioned whether this would be                                                               
necessary  even as  he had  been  appointed by  the governor  and                                                               
offered his  belief that  this prosecution would  be his  job and                                                               
responsibility.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:19:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STUTES  asked  if  the  duties  of  the  attorney                                                               
general included  a responsibility  to be  the moral  compass for                                                               
the state.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. CLARKSON replied  that the law determined  the moral decision                                                               
for  conduct, and  it would  be  his job  to enforce  the law  of                                                               
Alaska.   He declared that  it was not  his job to  enforce "some                                                               
other moral compass."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:20:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL asked  for  more  information regarding  Mr.                                                               
Clarkson's  earlier   reference  that  a  small   percentage,  10                                                               
percent, of his work was on divisive social issues.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CLARKSON replied  that this  was primarily  a series  of two                                                               
cases  which spanned  over ten  years as  they were  not resolved                                                               
quickly.  He  referenced a parental consent law,  passed in 1996,                                                               
adding that the Alaska Supreme  Court had issued a decision which                                                               
stated that the right to  privacy protects the right to abortion.                                                               
He  noted  that  this  resulted  in many  nuances  for  what  was                                                               
permissible  regarding  the state  regulation  of  abortion.   He                                                               
pointed out that the Alaska  State Legislature had overwhelmingly                                                               
passed  a  parental consent  law  in  1996, noting  that  passage                                                               
included  the override  of  a  veto from  Governor  Knowles.   He                                                               
explained that the law required:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     that before  a young girl  who was 16 years  or younger                                                                    
     could obtain  an abortion  she had  to have  either one                                                                    
     parent's consent or  the approval of a  judge through a                                                                    
     bypass proceeding  which meant she'd have  to appear in                                                                    
     front of a  judge and either prove that  she was mature                                                                    
     enough to  make her  own decision  or that  her parents                                                                    
     weren't  fit  to  participate   in  that  decision  for                                                                    
     various reasons.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. CLARKSON stated that this  law was challenged by opponents to                                                               
the law.   He  reported that  the law "didn't  put Alaska  out in                                                               
some  fringe, 80  percent  of  the states  in  this country  have                                                               
parental involvement laws, so 40 out  of 50."  He added that this                                                               
law put Alaska  in the mainstream.  He explained  that the Alaska                                                               
State  Constitution  was  applied  independently  by  the  Alaska                                                               
Courts System.  He noted that  after the challenge to the law was                                                               
filed, the  case went to  the trial  court, which ruled  that the                                                               
law was unconstitutional.  He pointed  out that he was then hired                                                               
by  the Alaska  State  Legislature to  help  defend the  statute,                                                               
alongside the attorneys from the  Department of Law.  He reported                                                               
that  the  trial   court  "struck  the  law  down"   and,  as  it                                                               
subsequently went  to the Alaska  Supreme Court, he  was invited,                                                               
along with  the Assistant  Attorney General,  to argue  the case.                                                               
He  stated  that  the  Alaska  Supreme Court  was  split  on  its                                                               
decision,  3 votes  to 2  votes.   He explained  that two  of the                                                               
justices would have  upheld the law as a matter  of law; however,                                                               
the other  three justices wanted  the case returned to  the trial                                                               
court  for a  trial so  the  court could  receive evidence  about                                                               
"what  the  state's  compelling  interest  might  be,  which  was                                                               
necessary  to  uphold  that  law   and  how  that  law  might  be                                                               
implemented in the  least restrictive means possible."   The case                                                               
was returned  to the trial court  and, again, the law  was struck                                                               
down.  He stated  that he was again hired by  the State of Alaska                                                               
to  represent the  State  in  the appeal  to  the Alaska  Supreme                                                               
Court,  noting that  the Supreme  Court  was again  split on  its                                                               
decision, 3  votes to  2 votes,  and "struck the  law down."   He                                                               
added that  upon re-hearing  the case,  the Alaska  Supreme Court                                                               
was split, with the retirement of  one judge, 2 votes to 2 votes.                                                               
He  explained that  a  tie  in an  appellate  court affirmed  the                                                               
decision of a lower court.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:23:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. CLARKSON  moved on to discuss  his second case.   He reported                                                               
that  the parental  notice  case  was a  result  of the  parental                                                               
consent decision,  as the  Alaska Supreme  Court struck  down the                                                               
parental  consent  law because  a  less  restrictive but  equally                                                               
effective alternative for  the state was found  with the parental                                                               
notice law.   He  paraphrased the court  in the  parental consent                                                               
decision "our  constitution will permit a  statutory scheme which                                                               
ensures that  parents are notified  so that they can  be involved                                                               
in  their  young  daughter's  decision  regarding  pregnancy  and                                                               
abortion."   He  added that  this  had encouraged  an attempt  at                                                               
creation  of a  full notice  law, first  by the  legislature, and                                                               
then by  a citizen initiative which  was subsequently challenged.                                                               
He reported that he was hired  by the initiative sponsors to work                                                               
with  the attorneys  from the  Department  of Law  to once  again                                                               
defend  the parental  notice law.   The  case was  upheld in  the                                                               
trial court but was struck down  by the Alaska Supreme Court.  He                                                               
pointed out that the existing law was a result of these cases.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:25:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL asked if Mr.  Clarkson had been involved with                                                               
the issues of same sex marriage.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CLARKSON,  in response,  explained  that  in 1998,  after  a                                                               
challenge to  keep a  marriage amendment  to the  constitution on                                                               
the ballot, he had been hired  by the Alaska State Legislature to                                                               
defend the amendment  and keep it on the ballot.   He shared that                                                               
the  amendment  was  passed  with  a 69  percent  approval.    He                                                               
reported  that  although  31  states   had  passed  and  ratified                                                               
marriage amendments, the  U.S. Supreme Court has  since ruled for                                                               
the constitutional right to marriage of someone of the same sex.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:26:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL   reported  that  Fairbanks   was  currently                                                               
hearing about  a city ordinance  for non-discrimination  based on                                                               
gender  and sexual  identity.   He  asked if  Mr. Clarkson  would                                                               
support such a law if passed by the legislature.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. CLARKSON replied that it was  the job of the attorney general                                                               
to  enforce  and  uphold  the   law,  regardless  of  whether  he                                                               
supported it.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL  asked  if  he   had  served  on  the  grant                                                               
committee for the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. CLARKSON  replied that he had  served for 14 years  and mused                                                               
that he  had left  the ADF  grant review committee  in 2017.   He                                                               
explained that  the ADF  was a  "public interest,  non-profit law                                                               
firm   that  represents   individuals   and  constitution   cases                                                               
involving  rights  to  free  exercise   of  religion,  rights  of                                                               
conscience,  protecting a  person's  rights to  free speech,  and                                                               
also on  right to life issues  from time to time."   He explained                                                               
that  the  organization  raised  money  and  provided  grants  to                                                               
lawyers looking for support.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:28:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  asked how  Mr.  Clarkson  would handle  a                                                               
situation whereby  he philosophically  agreed with  a restrictive                                                               
abortion or  LGBT proposed law, even  if the passage of  this law                                                               
would be unconstitutional.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. CLARKSON, in response to  Representative LeDoux, said that he                                                               
did not  see his role  as one to  engage in the  political debate                                                               
for whether this proposal should become  law.  He opined that his                                                               
role,   unless  the   law  was   "black  letter   clear  as   day                                                               
unconstitutional," would  be to defend  the law.  He  pointed out                                                               
that  it  would   be  up  to  the  judiciary   to  determine  the                                                               
constitutionality of the  law.  He reiterated that  the law would                                                               
"literally  have   to  be  just   as  clear  as  day   that  it's                                                               
unconstitutional.   I'm not going  to be refusing to  defend laws                                                               
in areas  where it's questionable."   He  stated that it  was the                                                               
job of  an attorney  to zealously represent  a client  within the                                                               
bounds of the  law.  He acknowledged that,  although the question                                                               
would be  for the bounds  of the law,  if there was  a reasonable                                                               
argument  to be  made  on  behalf of  his  client,  the State  of                                                               
Alaska, it was his job to defend the law.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:30:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP  asked whether much of  the representation by                                                               
Mr. Clarkson on  the aforementioned cases had  been by invitation                                                               
from the State of Alaska.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. CLARKSON  expressed his agreement  that his  participation on                                                               
the  abortion  related cases  had  been  by invitation  from  the                                                               
Alaska State  Legislature or the  State of Alaska.   He clarified                                                               
that  his  representation on  the  parental  notice case  was  by                                                               
invitation from  the sponsors of  the initiative.  He  added that                                                               
this participation had been as  co-counsel with the Office of the                                                               
Attorney General.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOPP commented  that, upon  review, Mr.  Clarkson                                                               
appeared to have extensive  experience representing Alaska Native                                                               
village corporations.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. CLARKSON expressed  his agreement, noting that  this had been                                                               
his  work  for 6  -  7  years of  his  career.   In  response  to                                                               
Representative Kopp, he explained that  much of this work was for                                                               
professional  liability   cases  in  representation   for  Native                                                               
corporations  "who  had  been   significantly  wronged  by  legal                                                               
professionals,  attorneys, who  were  representing  them and  had                                                               
committed significant  malpractice and  or breaches  of fiduciary                                                               
duty in the course of  representing those Native corporations and                                                               
had  harmed those  Native corporations."   He  added that  he had                                                               
successfully represented the Native  corporations, and that later                                                               
work  had included  representation  for the  timber interests  of                                                               
some village  corporations in Southeast  Alaska.  He  declared "I                                                               
am  a  litigator,  and  these   are  civil  cases  that  I  found                                                               
interesting  and  intriguing.   These  were  clients that  needed                                                               
representation  and  they  deserved representation."    He  added                                                               
that, in his view, his clients had been wronged.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:33:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOPP   directed  attention  to   the  discussions                                                               
regarding  educational outcomes  and asked  about the  suggestion                                                               
for  a different  path forward  with the  state entering  into an                                                               
agreement with  tribes through state-tribal  compacts.   He noted                                                               
that this would allow more local  control for the delivery of the                                                               
education  and  the  curriculum.     He  asked  if  Mr.  Clarkson                                                               
recognized any barriers to prevent  this within the Department of                                                               
Law.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. CLARKSON said that he could  not see anything standing in the                                                               
way.   He  opined that  compacting  was used  in numerous  areas,                                                               
including  the  criminal  area   by  signing  criminal  diversion                                                               
agreements with the  tribes to allow enforcement  by the villages                                                               
of lower level misdemeanor criminal  activity.  He stated that it                                                               
"makes a  lot of sense to  have those kinds of  things handled by                                                               
the local communities."   He offered his belief  that there would                                                               
not be any impediment to funding.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP noted  that there may be  some federal issues                                                               
to address.  He asked whether  Mr. Clarkson was aware that it was                                                               
the  legislature's duty  to impeach  a  governor if  there was  a                                                               
transgression of law.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. CLARKSON  expressed his understanding that  impeachment would                                                               
be the legislature's role, and  that his role as Attorney General                                                               
would be for any criminal prosecution.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:36:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN asked  whether  Mr.  Clarkson would  feel                                                               
comfortable with the  appeal of cases to the US  Supreme Court in                                                               
which the Alaska Supreme Court had ruled against his assessment.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. CLARKSON  replied that, if  a decision by the  Alaska Supreme                                                               
Court had made  an error in federal constitutional  law, he would                                                               
be comfortable petitioning these issues to the US Supreme Court.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN asked  how he  would advise  the governor                                                               
about  a  decision  that  was  in issue  with  the  Alaska  State                                                               
Constitution  without an  appeal to  the US  Supreme Court  as an                                                               
alternative.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:37:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN  interjected that  the question  may be  for whether                                                               
the Alaska Supreme Court "ever gets anything wrong."                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. CLARKSON, in response, expressed  his agreement, noting that,                                                               
in a technical  sense, the Alaska Supreme Court  was always right                                                               
as they  were able  to have the  last word with  Alaska law.   He                                                               
stated that  he could  not imagine advising  the governor  or any                                                               
department to simply ignore a ruling  of Alaska law by the Alaska                                                               
Supreme Court.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:38:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN  asked if  Mr. Clarkson  had represented  the Native                                                               
Corporations for the defense or the plaintiff.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CLARKSON replied  that every  case  except one  had been  on                                                               
their behalf as  the plaintiff, either suing  another business or                                                               
corporation over  a timber ownership  dispute.  He added  that he                                                               
had also been the defense attorney during a tax dispute.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  CLAMAN  asked  whether  the  malpractice  cases  had  been                                                               
representation for the plaintiff.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. CLARKSON  acknowledged that the Native  Corporations had been                                                               
the plaintiff in those cases.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN  asked about  the current status  of a  lawsuit with                                                               
the Anchorage Equal Rights Commission.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CLARKSON stated  that he  was no  longer involved  with that                                                               
case.   He explained that  he had represented the  downtown [soup                                                               
kitchen] Hope  Center, a homeless  shelter for abused women.   He                                                               
explained  the  situation which  precluded  the  admittance of  a                                                               
woman  looking for  shelter as  she  was under  the influence  of                                                               
alcohol.   The  woman  filed  a claim  with  the Anchorage  Equal                                                               
Rights Commission  that she had been  discriminated against based                                                               
on gender identity.  He stated  that, even as this charge was not                                                               
true, the  law regarding discrimination based  on gender identity                                                               
law only  applied to public accommodations.   Shortly thereafter,                                                               
during an  initiative drive  over this  ordinance, he  received a                                                               
call  from  a reporter  asking  about  the  case.   He  sent  the                                                               
reporter a  copy of the  response to  the commission.   Then, the                                                               
Anchorage   Equal   Rights   Commission   filed   a   charge   of                                                               
discrimination   against  his   law  firm,   claiming  a   spoken                                                               
discrimination.  He  questioned the charge, noting  that this was                                                               
what  lawyers do,  they speak  on behalf  of their  clients.   He                                                               
added that  the claim was dropped  very quickly.  He  opined that                                                               
the Hope Center had a case still pending.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN asked if the state was  a party to this case, and if                                                               
so, would  he recuse himself  as the Attorney General  because of                                                               
his prior work on the case.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. CLARKSON replied, "absolutely, absolutely."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN  asked what advice he  would give to a  committee if                                                               
the proposal was "stretching about as far as you could."                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. CLARKSON declared  that he viewed his  personal integrity and                                                               
honesty very  seriously.   He explained that  he would  "tell you                                                               
exactly what the law is, if  it's grey, I'll tell you it's grey."                                                               
He emphasized that he would "shoot  straight and tell you what it                                                               
is."                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:46:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN opened invited testimony.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:46:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ROBIN  BRENA, Managing  Attorney,  Brena, Bell  & Clarkson,  said                                                               
that he had tremendous respect for  Mr. Clarkson both as a person                                                               
and  as an  attorney.    He declared  that  Mr.  Clarkson was  an                                                               
excellent attorney  and a good  person to  work with.   He shared                                                               
that Mr. Clarkson  was highly thought of by  other attorneys, was                                                               
a conservative person,  and was always respectful  for people and                                                               
the   law.     He  opined   that  Mr.   Clarkson  was   the  best                                                               
constitutional attorney in the State  of Alaska and had dedicated                                                               
himself  to improving  the practice  of law  in the  state.   Mr.                                                               
Clarkson volunteered  time with  the Alaska Bar  Association, and                                                               
often took  legal, ethics,  and conflict  cases which  the Alaska                                                               
Bar  Association  was  not  able   to  prosecute.    He  strongly                                                               
recommended  Mr.  Clarkson  and   declared  that  he  was  highly                                                               
qualified for this position.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:49:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CLARK NICHOLS,  Perkins &  Coie, shared that  he had  worked with                                                               
Mr. Clarkson  for about  10 years  in the  Anchorage office.   He                                                               
said  that he  held Mr.  Clarkson's legal  skills in  the highest                                                               
regard, and  that he enjoyed  practicing with Mr. Clarkson  as he                                                               
was  a  genuinely  courteous  advocate.     He  spoke  about  Mr.                                                               
Clarkson's  representation of  a village  corporation in  a fraud                                                               
and bankruptcy case, and the  resulting judgement in favor of the                                                               
village  corporation.   He  emphasized  the  perseverance by  Mr.                                                               
Clarkson in  following this  defendant to  the State  of Arizona,                                                               
where  he  succeeded  in  having the  case  transferred  back  to                                                               
Alaska.   He pointed out  that Mr.  Clarkson had taken  that case                                                               
when no  one else would  have taken it,  as it initially  did not                                                               
have a  "high ability of  success."  He  stated that he  held Mr.                                                               
Clarkson   in  the   highest  regard,   and   he  supported   the                                                               
confirmation for Attorney General.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:54:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ERIC SANDERS, Attorney, reported that  he had been practicing law                                                               
in Alaska for  43 years, and he shared  his extensive experiences                                                               
working with  Mr. Clarkson.   He  said that he  had, as  a judge,                                                               
mediated Mr.  Clarkson's cases, as  an attorney,  mitigated cases                                                               
against him, and  served as an arbitrator with Mr.  Clarkson as a                                                               
participant.   He  stated  that  he felt  qualified  to offer  an                                                               
opinion.   He noted  that Mr.  Clarkson's personal  and political                                                               
leanings  had never  been an  issue,  and that  Mr. Clarkson  had                                                               
always  been   extremely  well  prepared,  very   thorough,  very                                                               
hardworking, and  very honest.   He opined that Mr.  Clarkson had                                                               
very  high regard  for the  law and  did not  allow his  personal                                                               
views to intrude  into his work as  a lawyer.  He  added that Mr.                                                               
Clarkson had tremendous respect  for people, was extremely polite                                                               
and  courteous, and  was "probably  about the  least dogmatic  or                                                               
argumentative  person I've  ever  dealt with."    He offered  his                                                               
belief that  Mr. Clarkson  was an honorable  person and  that his                                                               
personal political views  were irrelevant, as these  had not been                                                               
an  issue in  his  work as  a  lawyer.   He  offered his  highest                                                               
recommendation for Mr. Clarkson as Attorney General.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:58:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JEFF FELDMAN, Professor, University  of Washington, reported that                                                               
he had  been an attorney  practicing in  Alaska for more  than 40                                                               
years, and that  he was currently teaching law  at the University                                                               
of Washington.  He shared that he had:                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     litigated a  great number of  cases with  Mr. Clarkson.                                                                    
     They  all have  been  what are  described sometimes  as                                                                    
     high-profile cases  involving issues of  public policy.                                                                    
     These  are  cases   involving  issues  of  reproductive                                                                    
     freedom,  reapportionment,  election  disputes,  ballot                                                                    
     initiatives... I suspect that I  may be, may have been,                                                                    
     Mr. Clarkson's  most frequent adversary on  these kinds                                                                    
     of cases.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  FELDMAN  acknowledged that,  although  he  and Mr.  Clarkson                                                               
disagreed on  all these  issues, he had  found that  Mr. Clarkson                                                               
was  a  very talented  lawyer,  committed  to  the rule  of  law,                                                               
diligent  and   dedicated  as   a  professional,   courteous  and                                                               
respectful,  and  acted  with strict  adherence  to  professional                                                               
standards  and  ethics.    He stated  his  understanding  of  the                                                               
concern  by  some  individuals   for  this  appointment,  as  Mr.                                                               
Clarkson  frequently  aligned  himself  with one  side  of  these                                                               
social cause issues;  however, he offered his belief  that it was                                                               
a mistake  to judge a  lawyer by  the clients represented  or the                                                               
positions argued  on behalf of the  clients.  He opined  that the                                                               
test for this  confirmation should be addressed by  the answer to                                                               
three  questions:  will  the   nominee  zealously  represent  the                                                               
interest  of the  people of  Alaska;  does the  nominee have  the                                                               
requisite  intelligence, skills,  and professional  judgement and                                                               
ethical  compass to  hold this  position; and  finally, will  the                                                               
nominee  lead and  provide sound  guidance and  direction to  the                                                               
more than  200 lawyers working in  the Department of Law.   Based                                                               
on his own experience as an  advocate and an adversary, he stated                                                               
his support for the nomination.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:01:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LOREN LEMAN shared that he was  a life-long resident of Alaska, a                                                               
former legislator  from West Anchorage,  and a  former lieutenant                                                               
governor.    He  stated  his  support for  Mr.  Clarkson  as  the                                                               
attorney  general, noting  that  he had  known  Mr. Clarkson  for                                                               
about 30  years.  He  reported that Mr. Clarkson  had represented                                                               
the  legislature and  the State  of Alaska  on challenges  to the                                                               
defense of  marriage and  the parental  consent legislation.   He                                                               
added that  Mr. Clarkson had  also represented the sponsors  on a                                                               
ballot initiative  for parental  involvement.   He said  that Mr.                                                               
Clarkson was fair,  thorough, thoughtful, and smart,  and that he                                                               
respected  the constitution  and the  law.   He relayed  that Mr.                                                               
Clarkson conducted  himself with integrity and  dignity, while he                                                               
remained humble.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:04:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOHN THORSNESS reported  that he had been a lawyer  in Alaska for                                                               
more than  35 years and that  he had known Mr.  Clarkson for many                                                               
years.  He  emphasized that he had represented cases  in which he                                                               
was both aligned  and opposed with Mr. Clarkson.   He stated that                                                               
in every  respect Mr.  Clarkson had shown  himself to  be honest,                                                               
prepared,  and  professional.   He  stated  his support  for  Mr.                                                               
Clarkson, noting that he would be a superb Attorney General.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:05:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MIKE  GERAGHTY,   Former  Attorney  General,  State   of  Alaska,                                                               
reported  that he  was currently  a lawyer  in Anchorage  and had                                                               
practiced law  in Alaska for more  than 40 years.   He added that                                                               
he had been the Attorney General  for four years.  He stated that                                                               
his relationship with Mr. Clarkson  had always been professional,                                                               
without malice,  even as they were  often on opposite sides.   He                                                               
declared  that   Mr.  Clarkson  was  an   excellent  attorney,  a                                                               
"straight  shooter,"  direct,  honest, and  without  artifice  or                                                               
pretense.   He offered his  belief that Mr. Clarkson  had respect                                                               
for  the Department  of Law  and would  earn the  respect of  the                                                               
department.    He  acknowledged  that  Mr.  Clarkson  had  strong                                                               
personal convictions and personal beliefs  which he defended.  He                                                               
stated his confidence that Mr.  Clarkson would put those personal                                                               
convictions aside  and "do his utmost  to uphold the laws  of the                                                               
state  and our  constitution because  that  is the  oath he  will                                                               
take, and  he will  take it  very seriously."   He  declared that                                                               
these  qualities  would  serve  Mr.  Clarkson  well  as  attorney                                                               
general, and he offered his endorsement to Mr. Clarkson.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:08:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN opened public testimony.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:08:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KARYN  WARNER  said   that  she  was  strongly   opposed  to  the                                                               
confirmation of Kevin Clarkson as  attorney general.  She pointed                                                               
out  that, although  testimony by  Mr. Clarkson  had stated  that                                                               
only  10 percent  of  his  case work  had  been on  controversial                                                               
social issues, "that's  10 percent too much."   She declared that                                                               
Alaskans  deserved  an  Attorney  General who  would  uphold  the                                                               
constitutionally protected rights  of all, including reproductive                                                               
and sexual  health access,  education, and  equal rights  for the                                                               
LGBTQ [lesbian, gay, bisexual,  transgender, and queer] Alaskans.                                                               
She  directed  attention to  Mr.  Clarkson's  application to  the                                                               
Alaska  Supreme  Court  and  his  rating of  2.7  by  the  Alaska                                                               
Judicial  Council, which  she interpreted  as between  sufficient                                                               
and acceptable on  the scale.  She opined  that Alaskans deserved                                                               
someone who was more than only bordering on acceptable.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  asked  about   the  cases  in  which  Mr.                                                               
Clarkson represented "the side that you  did not agree with.  She                                                               
asked  Ms. Warner  whether anyone  should  have represented  that                                                               
side.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. WARNER replied,  "yes, I do.   That is part of  the beauty of                                                               
our court  system is  the fair and  effective testimony  for both                                                               
sides."                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX asked about  the concern for representation                                                               
by  Mr.  Clarkson, when  Ms.  Warner  had expressed  support  for                                                               
representation by someone.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. WARNER opined  that it was "because of his  history, in terms                                                               
of those cases."   She shared her employment history  as a sexual                                                               
assault  examiner  and  expressed  her  strong  support  for  the                                                               
importance  of   qualified  educators  teaching   sexual  health,                                                               
reproduction, and healthy relationships in the schools.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:12:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BESSIE  ODAM  declared  that the  position  of  Attorney  General                                                               
required the utmost  integrity toward all Alaskans.   She offered                                                               
her  belief  that  "it  was  less  than  acceptable  to  have  an                                                               
appointee whose  work has been  marginally discriminatory."   She                                                               
stated that  Alaskans should  be doing  all that  can be  done to                                                               
support the LGBTQ community.   She declared that these were human                                                               
rights which could not be  jeopardized.  She stated that Alaskans                                                               
should be represented  without regard to sexuality  or gender and                                                               
declared a  need for the  Attorney General  to be fair  and just,                                                               
and  not driven  by religious  ideologies.   She  asked that  the                                                               
committee vote no on this confirmation.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:14:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ZHENIA PETERSON stated  that she was testifying  in opposition to                                                               
the nomination  of Mr.  Clarkson as Attorney  General.   She said                                                               
that Mr.  Clarkson had  shown disregard for  many Alaskans.   She                                                               
declared  that  the  Attorney  General   had  a  clear  role  for                                                               
protecting  the constitutional  rights of  Alaskans, noting  that                                                               
his rating  for the Supreme  Court nomination had stated  that he                                                               
was too biased.   She added that Mr. Clarkson  had used religious                                                               
liberty as a  means of denying Alaskans  reproductive health care                                                               
and access  to sex education.   She emphasized that  all students                                                               
should have access to  comprehensive, medically accurate [indisc]                                                               
sex education.   She pointed out that Mr.  Clarkson had supported                                                               
denial of  services to transgender  women, and that  he supported                                                               
an amendment  to the  Alaska State Constitution  to ban  same sex                                                               
marriage.   She  said  that  this was  not  looking  to the  best                                                               
interests of all  Alaskans, and she encouraged  rejection of this                                                               
nomination.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:16:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ROBIN SMITH stated that she was  opposed to the nomination of Mr.                                                               
Clarkson for  Attorney General.   She said that it  was necessary                                                               
to have a  moderate attorney in this role, pointing  out that Mr.                                                               
Clarkson's  religious views  "put  him outside  the  norm of  the                                                               
standard  Alaskan   and  puts  him   at  odds  with   the  Alaska                                                               
Constitution."  She  expressed her concern for the  impact of his                                                               
personal beliefs  on the Alaskans  that he would represent.   She                                                               
stated that  Mr. Clarkson  was "hostile to  equal rights  for the                                                               
LGBTQ community.  He has  worked to change the non-discrimination                                                               
law in Anchorage  and opposed same sex marriage in  Alaska."  She                                                               
added  that Mr.  Clarkson had  worked  to deny  Muslims and  Jews                                                               
participation  with  the  invocations at  the  Kenai  [Peninsula]                                                               
Borough meetings.   She reported that  Alaska had a high  rate of                                                               
sexually  transmitted  infections,  rapes,  and  sexual  assault.                                                               
Although   one  way   to  reduce   these  was   to  offer   teens                                                               
comprehensive  sex  education  which included  subjects  such  as                                                               
consent and respect,  she stated that Mr. Clarkson  had worked to                                                               
restrict access to sexual education.   She reminded the committee                                                               
that,  although  women had  the  right  to  a legal  abortion  in                                                               
Alaska, Mr.  Clarkson had actively worked  to restrict abortions.                                                               
She declared that the Attorney  General held "tremendous power in                                                               
the  Department of  Law."   She  questioned whether  an LGBTQ,  a                                                               
transgender person,  or a woman  seeking an abortion  would trust                                                               
that Mr.  Clarkson "would  uphold their  rights as  forcefully or                                                               
use as  much financial resources as  he would to defend  a white,                                                               
straight, pro-life Christian."   She stated that "Alaska deserves                                                               
a better  AG [Attorney  General]."  She  offered her  belief that                                                               
having men  testify first  was inappropriate  and asked  that the                                                               
committee  realize that  "attorneys are  not more  important than                                                               
women or anybody else."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:20:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LIN DAVIS  stated her  opposition to  the nomination  because Mr.                                                               
Clarkson's  "discriminatory efforts"  had done  her family  harm.                                                               
She reported  that, as  a state  worker, she  had been  unable to                                                               
enroll her  wife in  health benefits  for almost  12 years.   She                                                               
referenced  statewide  testimony  for  protection  to  the  LGBTQ                                                               
community,  pointing out  the  vulnerability  of this  community.                                                               
She shared  that Mr. Clarkson  did not  give her hope  that there                                                               
would be support  for equal protection.  She  urged the committee                                                               
not to confirm the nomination.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:22:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ALYSON  CURREY,  Legislative  Liaison, Planned  Parenthood  Votes                                                               
Northwest, stated  that Planned  Parenthood was in  opposition to                                                               
the nomination  of Mr. Clarkson  for Attorney General.   She said                                                               
that based  on their experience, there  was not a trust  that Mr.                                                               
Clarkson would  uphold the state  constitution for  all Alaskans.                                                               
She expressed  her agreement with  earlier testimony  that Alaska                                                               
deserved  an   Attorney  General  who  would   advocate  for  the                                                               
constitutionally protected  rights of all people  and not elevate                                                               
the  rights of  one group  over all  others.   She reported  that                                                               
throughout  his   legal  career,   Mr.  Clarkson   had  "elevated                                                               
religious  freedom  rights above  other  basic  human rights  and                                                               
needs," citing  examples for  creating a  family with  the person                                                               
you love or "controlling one's  own body free of discrimination."                                                               
She relayed that Mr. Clarkson  had consistently shown a disregard                                                               
for the reproductive and sexual health  of Alaskans, as well as a                                                               
disregard  for the  Alaska State  Constitution.   She  referenced                                                               
earlier  testimony   which  stated   that  he   had  "spearheaded                                                               
unsuccessful  lawsuits supporting  laws  that  would have  rolled                                                               
back the  right to privacy for  Alaskans."  She pointed  out that                                                               
these anti-abortion  laws, as well  as the  parental notification                                                               
law,  were  correctly  deemed   unconstitutional  by  the  Alaska                                                               
Supreme Court.   She added that Mr. Clarkson  had an unacceptable                                                               
record for  opposing equal rights  for the LGBTQ community.   She                                                               
emphasized  that "no  one  should be  denied  access to  housing,                                                               
employment,  or public  accommodations in  a community,  based on                                                               
who they are  or who they love."  She  stated that Mr. Clarkson's                                                               
opposition  to  reproductive  rights and  equal  protections  for                                                               
LGBTQ  individuals  demonstrated  that   he  was  unfit  for  the                                                               
position,  adding  that  he  could   not  be  trusted  to  uphold                                                               
protections  for   basic  human   rights  or  uphold   the  state                                                               
constitution.  She urged the committee to reject the nomination.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:24:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   LEDOUX    asked   whether   there    should   be                                                               
representation for those not in  favor to those positions such as                                                               
LGBTQ or reproductive rights.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. CURREY  acknowledged that there  was a vast array  of beliefs                                                               
for reproductive freedom  and LGBTQ rights and  she expressed her                                                               
respect for those  people who represented "the other  side."  She                                                               
declared that she  would always fight for access  to health care,                                                               
housing,  employment, education,  and  public accommodations  for                                                               
all people, no matter who a person was or who they loved.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX asked whether  it was a dangerous precedent                                                               
to  declare against  a  candidate because  of  disagreement to  a                                                               
position  on LGBTQ  or abortion  rights.   She  pointed out  that                                                               
preclusion  of Mr.  Clarkson based  on his  representation for  a                                                               
side to which Ms. Currey did  not agree was also an argument that                                                               
could be used for a candidate  with whom Ms. Currey agreed on the                                                               
same issues.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. CURREY  offered her belief that,  as a member of  the public,                                                               
it  was  a  right  to   voice  concern  and  opposition  for  any                                                               
candidate.  She acknowledged that  the legislature would make the                                                               
decision for confirmation.   Pointing out that  the precedent had                                                               
already been set, she offered  two examples of prior nominees not                                                               
confirmed because  of their beliefs:   an appointee to  the Board                                                               
[of  Certified] Direct-Entry  Midwives not  confirmed because  of                                                               
her  employment by  Planned Parenthood  and an  appointee to  the                                                               
Human  Rights  Commission not  confirmed  because  of his  gender                                                               
identity.   She asked that  the committee consider all  views for                                                               
the qualifications of appointees.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:29:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
STACEY  LUCASON declared  that, although  Mr. Clarkson  may be  a                                                               
good person  and a  good lawyer, he  was an  inappropriate choice                                                               
for  Attorney  General.   In  response  to  an earlier  query  by                                                               
Representative  LeDoux as  to why  question the  confirmation for                                                               
someone  who  was  a  religious   radical  and  defended  certain                                                               
positions,  she   emphasized  that   the  Attorney   General  was                                                               
responsible  for  serving  all  Alaskans   and  had  to  be  more                                                               
centrist.  She declared that  the confirmation of someone radical                                                               
as the  Attorney General  was a declaration  of support  for some                                                               
Alaskans,  in this  case, specifically  white Christian  Alaskans                                                               
over all  others.  She stated  that this was not  appropriate and                                                               
not  a  way for  the  state  "to  affirm  that these  rights  are                                                               
afforded to  all citizens of  the state  instead of just  a few."                                                               
She offered  her belief that  the candidate, based on  his record                                                               
and his  actions, did  not uphold  the Alaska  State Constitution                                                               
for  all  Alaskans.   She  offered  an  example of  Mr.  Clarkson                                                               
"standing  with Jim  Minnery  in  a discriminatory  organization,                                                               
founding  a discriminatory  organization, that  advocates against                                                               
rights  for  some  people  and  elevates  specific  rights  above                                                               
others."   She  stated that  these actions  say that  this person                                                               
should not  be trusted  to act  in a  non-partisan way  and treat                                                               
everyone equally.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:31:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN asked  if she  was aware  the US  Supreme                                                               
Court  had ruled  that there  was not  to be  any religious  test                                                               
administered  to  an  appointee  for  the  position  of  attorney                                                               
general.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LUCASON  acknowledged  that   she  was  not  suggesting  the                                                               
implementation of  a religious test  to any  individual; however,                                                               
she suggested  a look at  a person's  record for the  rights they                                                               
have upheld and the choices they  have made in order to determine                                                               
the candidate's  ability to consistently  uphold the law  and the                                                               
rights for  all citizens.   She  added that, in  the case  of Mr.                                                               
Clarkson, this could be viewed through the lens of religion.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:32:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DARIO NOTTI stated  that he was in opposition  to the nomination.                                                               
He opined that  Mr. Clarkson was always on the  side opposing the                                                               
rights of  LGBTQ and  added that  discrimination was  not allowed                                                               
based on religion.   He offered his belief that,  if Mr. Clarkson                                                               
could not  fairly represent both  sides, he  could not be  a fair                                                               
attorney general.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:34:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MIKE COONS, President, Greater Alaska  Chapter of the Association                                                               
of  Mature  American  Citizens (AMAC),  declared  that  he  fully                                                               
supported the confirmation of Mr.  Clarkson for attorney general,                                                               
stating that  this was about  the law,  as written by  the Alaska                                                               
State Legislature,  the U.S. and Alaska  State Constitutions, and                                                               
enforcement of the  rule of law.  He added  that any reference to                                                               
Mr. Clarkson's  religious beliefs  or his past  work as  a lawyer                                                               
were  a violation  of "Article  6 in  the US  Constitution, which                                                               
reads in  part "no religious  tests shall  ever be required  as a                                                               
qualification  to any  office or  public trust  under the  United                                                               
States.""  He declared  the need  for a  "person of  strength who                                                               
will stand  for our state  constitution... "   He added  that the                                                               
Attorney  General needed  to  work with  the  Alaska US  Attorney                                                               
General  in  the prosecution  of  federal  felonies, offering  an                                                               
example of the  use of firearms by felons in  the commission of a                                                               
crime.   He  offered his  belief that  Mr. Clarkson  would be  an                                                               
Attorney General  who Alaskans could  be proud of and  have faith                                                               
that he would uphold the rule of law.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:36:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LYNETTE CLARK  reported that  Mr. Clarkson  had proven  where and                                                               
how  he  stood, and  what  he  believed  in:   the  Alaska  State                                                               
Constitution, the US  Constitution, and the Bill of  Rights.  She                                                               
said that Mr. Clarkson was more  than qualified and would "make a                                                               
fine attorney  general."  She  declared that, with  the condition                                                               
of the state, there was a need for "a knight in shining armor."                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:39:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CRIS EICHENLAUB stated  his support for Mr. Clarkson.   He stated                                                               
that the main objective was the  rule of law and justice for all.                                                               
He  opined that  he  had no  doubt that  Mr.  Clarkson would  not                                                               
support any special interest.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:40:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN closed public testimony.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:40:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN  asked if  Mr.  Clarkson  would make  the                                                               
determination whether a case would move forward for prosecution.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. CLARKSON replied, "not in every case."                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN asked  if the governor was able  to veto a                                                               
case in which the Attorney General wanted to move forward.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. CLARKSON offered his belief  that the governor would not play                                                               
a  direct  role   in  criminal  cases,  noting   that  only  some                                                               
controversial, high profile issues "might  actually make it to my                                                               
desk."   Regarding other cases including  involvement of Alaska's                                                               
interests, he  opined that  there could  be a  discussion between                                                               
the governor and  the attorney general.   In controversial cases,                                                               
he would  involve the governor's  office to ensure they  were all                                                               
in line.   He offered his  belief that the governor,  in the end,                                                               
could make a policy call to pursue certain issues.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:43:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN  pointed out  that a  significant source  of revenue                                                               
for the state had been lawsuits  by the Department of Law and the                                                               
Department  of Natural  Resources against  oil companies  for tax                                                               
issues, noting that the oil  companies hired the best lawyers and                                                               
accountants.    He asked  Mr.  Clarkson  for his  perspective  on                                                               
whether the oil companies could  be trusted on these tax matters,                                                               
or should the  state have a strong, aggressive  Department of Law                                                               
to pursue the interests of the state for tax recovery.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CLARKSON  offered his  belief  that  the  state did  need  a                                                               
strong,  talented Department  of Law  in  order to  respond.   He                                                               
pointed  out that  the  [oil] companies  would  "do what  they're                                                               
supposed to  do, which  is to  look out  for their  own financial                                                               
interests.     They're   not  lookin'   out  for   our  financial                                                               
interests."     He   acknowledged  that   there  was   occasional                                                               
partnership  toward  common  goals.   He  opined  that,  for  tax                                                               
issues, it was  necessary for a strong Department  of Law, adding                                                               
that there currently was "a lot of talent in our department."                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:45:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP offered his belief that Mr. Clarkson had                                                                    
uniform support for his integrity from those people with whom he                                                                
had professionally served the longest, pointing out that Mr.                                                                    
Clarkson had been referenced as "the least dogmatic, most soft                                                                  
spoken and thoughtful lawyer [Mr. Sender] had ever known, and                                                                   
with some of the best ethics of anybody he had ever practiced                                                                   
with."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:47:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SHAW shared his experience of meeting and working                                                                
with people he had fought against in Vietnam, and he stated his                                                                 
appreciation for the plaudits to the integrity of Mr. Clarkson.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:48:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN, in response to an earlier query from a testifier,                                                                 
explained that those invited to testify were given the first                                                                    
opportunity to speak.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:49:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX moved to advance the confirmation of Kevin                                                                
Clarkson, appointee as Attorney General, Department of Law, to                                                                  
the joint session of the House and Senate for consideration.                                                                    
There being no objection, the confirmation was forwarded.  She                                                                  
reminded the committee that signing the reports regarding                                                                       
appointments in no way reflects individual members' approval or                                                                 
disapproval of the appointees, and that the nominations are                                                                     
merely forwarded to the full legislature for confirmation or                                                                    
rejection.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:50:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Judiciary Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 2:50 p.m.                                                                 

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Attorney General Appointment-Kevin Clarkson Resume 2.25.19.pdf HJUD 2/25/2019 1:00:00 PM
Attorney General Appointment-Opposition Letters 2.25.19.pdf HJUD 2/25/2019 1:00:00 PM