Anchorage, AK – The ACLU of Alaska is deeply concerned by news and social media reports that Alaska State Commission for Human Rights Executive Director Marti Buscaglia used her government authority to try to coerce a private citizen into no longer expressing his views on a political issue.

As America’s oldest watchdog of civil rights and civil liberties, the ACLU finds it troubling any time a public official abuses the authority placed with them to silence political views with which they personally disagree. The 1st Amendment makes expressly clear that is not the appropriate role of government.

“For the sake of public confidence in our state government’s respect for its citizens’ rights, the full facts of this case need to investigated,” said ACLU of Alaska Executive Director Joshua A. Decker. He continued, “Unfortunately, the investigation announced by Governor Dunleavy is immediately undermined by his own troubling actions in this area. The governor demonstrated appalling contempt for the free speech rights of Alaskans when one of his first acts in office was to fire state workers who would not express their personal support for his­ political agenda—an attack on the 1st Amendment several orders of magnitude more serious than Marti Buscaglia’s.”

The ACLU of Alaska will continue to monitor this situation.

The American Civil Liberties Union is our nation’s guardian of liberty. For nearly 100 years, ­the ACLU has been at the forefront of virtually every major battle for civil liberties and equal justice in this country. Principled and nonpartisan, the ACLU works in the courts, legislatures, and communities to preserve and expand the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States. The ACLU of Alaska, founded in 1971, is one of the 53 state ACLU affiliates that strive to make the Bill of Rights real for everyone and to uphold the promise of the Constitution—because freedom can’t protect itself.

 

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