Alaska Judicial Council Nominee: Outlaw Pre-Marital Sex, Prosecute Adulterers
Sean Parnell, Alaska’s Republican governor, has nominated a far-right ultra-conservative for a post on the Alaska Judicial Council, the body that vets applicants for district, appellate, superior, and Supreme court judgeships. According to the Anchorage Daily News, the nominee, Don Haase, believes that all sex outside of marriage should be illegal and that adulterers ought to be prosecuted for their “crimes.” Haase’s resumé also failed to disclose his former leadership role in a reactionary interest group.
Haase, questioned for 40 minutes by Democrats on the state Senate Judiciary Committee, testified that he believes adultery should be a crime. “I think it’s very harmful to have extramarital affairs,” he said. “It’s harmful to children, it’s harmful to the spouse who entered a legally binding agreement to marry the person that’s cheating on them.” Haase also said he would vote for legislation outlawing pre-marital sex “because of the spread of disease and the likelihood that it would cause violence.” “I can see legitimate reasons to push that as a crime,” he added.
According to the Anchorage Daily News, The non-partisan Alaska Judicial Council, composed of three members of the public, three attorneys and the chief justice of the state Supreme Court, takes applications for judgeships from attorneys, vets them, and forwards their nominations to the governor. It also issues recommendations to voters when judges are up for retention elections. Haas, an electrical and mechanical designer and draftsman at the trans-Alaska pipeline terminal in Valdez, was nominated by Republican governor Sean Parnell.
Haase also came under scrutiny for failing to disclose on his resumé that he was, until nominated for the Alaska Judicial Council, president of Eagle Forum Alaska, a far-right interest group. Eagle Forum is staunchly anti-feminist and believes women should be “full-time homemakers.” It also opposes same-sex marriage, sex education in schools, vaccinations for children, abortion and US participation in international organizations like the UN and the International Criminal Court. Some of Eagle Forum’s stances are downright bizarre: a few years back, the group came out fighting against the amero, an imaginary euro-like currency that conspiracy theorists believed the US, Canadian and Mexican governments were preparing to introduce to replace the dollar.
Haase, who says he opposes judicial activism, insists he won’t allow his personal beliefs to influence his decisions if he’s accepted onto the Alaska Judicial Council. Governor Parnell agrees. “You’re expected to find people who are qualified to do the job they’re being selected for, not whether you agree with them 100 percent on their philosophical views,” the governor told the Anchorage Daily News. “Based upon the resume submitted, based upon the personal interviews that were done by our boards and commissions office with all selection candidates, I concluded that he would be a person who could fairly evaluate judge candidates.”
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