Legal Opinion vs. Media Slant – Does Media Minimize Alaska Supreme Court Opinion?


The article below, with the title, leads the day-to-day reader to believe what the outcome was regarding the legal dispute that went before the Alaska Supreme Court.

Alaska Supreme Court rules in favor of critical Native corp. shareholder by Jacob Resneck, CoastAlaska – Juneau – January 12, 2021

This is an example of how media misuses it’s platform as a “perceived” trusted source of information.

This misuse has negative effects impacting not only the legal authority of our justice system, but dilutes the public trust in actual scientific research.

The fact of the legal opinion is found in the quote buried in this article by Jacob Resnick.

He writes in his article—Orlansky said the Alaska Supreme Court ruling is a win for her client. And she said the justices’ decision outlines how the state’s regulations potentially fall afoul of the U.S. Constitution on free speech and due process grounds…..

The exact quote by Orlansky is:

“But the Supreme Court very clearly didn’t decide those questions. It did what courts often do, and decided the issue in front of it, and very specifically nothing further,” she added.


That being said, the only thing the Supreme Court wrote an opinion on was the monetary fine and Civil sanction that Austin Ahmasuk used to wager as a Constitutional Violating issue.

Susan Orlansky was not listed as an ACLU lawyer representing Austin Ahmasuk in the Supreme Court Opinion.

The ACLU website does not list Austin Ahmasuk as a current client and does not reference his case under their Freedom of Speech Banner of Issues.


So how can a journalist, who works for a publicly funded media outlet, be allowed to twist the truth to the public regarding the Opinion given by the highest judicial authority in Alaska? The Supreme Court of Alaska?

Alaska Supreme Court rules in favor of critical Native corp. shareholder

“After review, the Supreme Court concluded Ahmasuk’s opinion letter was not a proxy solicitation under the Division’s controlling regulations, therefore reversing the superior court’s decision upholding the Division’s civil sanction against Ahmasuk without reaching the constitutional arguments.” https://law.justia.com/cases/alaska/supreme-court/2021/s-17414.html

More letters to the Nome Nugget Newspaper from Austin Ahmasuk: February 25, 2016: True Story of Conspiracy being Deliberated right NOW with the Alaska Supreme Court

Published by Trudy Sobocienski

My blog, "Beyond Leadership" is a creative place to share my personal feelings and thoughts while working in leadership roles for a variety of Alaska Native organizations, both for and not-for profit entities. An incredible leader and mentor of mine once asked while we were in Washington, DC, "What happened to you between the ages of 7-10 that motivated you to serve in a native leadership capacity". I was struck by that poignant thought and as such, include actual entries from my mother and my diaries beginning in the early 1970's. I enjoy sharing these excerpts because it captures the parallels she and I were experiencing throughout life, from two separate worldviews. Hers as a young mother of four and mine as her eldest child. I have never came across a book on leadership that lays bare a leaders personal feelings, thoughts, hopes, fears and dreams they were experiencing. So for me, my goal is two-fold: 1. Share the incredible life my parents created for my siblings and I growing up in remote Alaska; and, 2) Sharing my humanity, through my personal diaries and journals, while serving as the youngest-ever President/CEO for the Alaska Native Health Board. There are passages that will include significant policy issues I was working on throughout my career and travels. There are many more passages that do not. I cannot speak for my mom's passages, because I am reading them as I share them here, with you; with her permission of course.

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