THE CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF ALASKA
Adopted by the Constitutional Convention February 5, 1956
Ratified by the People of Alaska April 24, 1956
Became Operative with the Formal Proclamation of Statehood
January 3, 1959
This is an abbreviated text of only the First Article of the State Constitution, the most important, that being the DECLARATION OF RIGHTS.
We the people of Alaska, grateful to God and to those who founded our nation and pioneered this great land, in order to secure and transmit to succeeding generations our heritage of political, civil, and religious liberty within the Union of States, do ordain and establish this constitution for the State of Alaska.
DECLARATION OF RIGHTS
Section 1.1 - Inherent Rights.
This constitution is dedicated to the principles that all persons have a natural right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and the enjoyment of the rewards of their own industry; that all persons are equal and entitled to equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law; and that all persons have corresponding obligations to the people and to the State.
Section 1.2 - Source of Government.
All political power is inherent in the people. All government originates with the people, is founded upon their will only, and is instituted solely for the good of the people as a whole.
Section 1.3 - Civil Rights.
No person is to be denied the enjoyment of any civil or political right because of race, color, creed, sex, or national origin. The legislature shall implement this section. [Amendment effective October 14, 1972]
Section 1.4 - Freedom of Religion.
No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
Section 1.5 - Freedom of Speech.
Every person may freely speak, write, and publish on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right.
Section 1.6 - Assembly; Petition.
The right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government shall never be abridged.
Section 1.7 - Due Process.
No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law. The right of all persons to fair and just treatment in the course of legislative and executive investigations shall not be infringed.
Section 1.8 - Grand Jury.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the armed forces in time of war or public danger. Indictment may be waived by the accused. In that case the prosecution shall be by information. The grand jury shall consist of at least twelve citizens, a majority of whom concurring may return an indictment. The power of grand juries to investigate and make recommendations concerning the public welfare or safety shall never be suspended.
Section 1.9 - Jeopardy and Self-Incrimination.
No person shall be put in jeopardy twice for the same offense. No person shall be compelled in any criminal proceeding to be a witness against himself.
Section 1.10 - Treason.
Treason against the State consists only in levying war against it, or in adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason, unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.
Section 1.11 - Rights of Accused.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall have the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of twelve, except that the legislature may provide for a jury of not more than twelve nor less than six in courts not of record. The accused is entitled to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be released on bail, except for capital offenses when the proof is evident or the presumption great; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
Section 1.12 - Criminal Administration.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. Criminal administration shall be based upon the following: the need for protecting the public, community condemnation of the offender, the rights of victims of crimes, restitution from the offender, and the principle of reformation.
Section 1.13 - Habeas Corpus.
The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or actual or imminent invasion, the public safety requires it.
Section 1.14 - Searches and Seizures.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses and other property, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated. No warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Section 1.15 - Prohibited State Action.
No bill of attainder or ex post facto law shall be passed. No law impairing the obligation of contracts, and no law making any irrevocable grant of special privileges or immunities shall be passed. No conviction shall work corruption of blood or forfeiture of estate.
Section 1.16 - Civil Suits; Trial by Jury.
In civil cases where the amount in controversy exceeds two hundred fifty dollars, the right of trial by a jury of twelve is preserved to the same extent as it existed at common law. The legislature may make provision for a verdict by not less than three-fourths of the jury and, in courts not of record, may provide for a jury of not less than six or more than twelve.
Section 1.17 - Imprisonment for Debt.
There shall be no imprisonment for debt. This section does not prohibit civil arrest of absconding debtors.
Section 1.18 - Eminent Domain.
Private property shall not be taken or damaged for public use without just compensation.
Section 1.19 - Right to Keep and Bear Arms.
A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. The individual right to keep and bear arms shall not be denied or infringed by the State or a political subdivision of the State.
Section 1.20 - Quartering Soldiers.
No member of the armed forces shall in time of peace be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner or occupant, or in time of war except as prescribed by law. The military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power.
Section 1.21 - Construction.
The enumeration of rights in this constitution shall not impair or deny others retained by the people.
Section 1.22 - Right of Privacy.
The right of the people to privacy is recognized and shall not be infringed. The legislature shall implement this section. [Approved August 22, 1972]
Section 1.23 - Resident Preference.
This constitution does not prohibit the State from granting preferences, on the basis of Alaska residence, to residents of the State over nonresidents to the extent permitted by the Constitution of the United States.
Section 1.24 - Rights of Crime Victims.
Crime victims, as defined by law, shall have the following rights as provided by law: the right to be reasonably protected from the accused through the imposition of appropriate bail or conditions of release by the court; the right to confer with the prosecution; the right to be treated with dignity, respect, and fairness during all phases of the criminal and juvenile justice process; the right to timely disposition of the case following the arrest of the accused; the right to obtain information about and be allowed to be present at all criminal or juvenile proceedings where the accused has the right to be present; the right to be allowed to be heard, upon request, at sentencing, before or after conviction or juvenile adjudication, and at any proceeding where the accused's release from custody is considered; the right to restitution from the accused; and the right to be informed, upon request, of the accused's escape or release from custody before or after conviction or juvenile adjudication.
Section 1.25 - Marriage.
To be valid or recognized in this State, a marriage may exist only between one man and one woman.