Alaska residents are subject to Alaska state and U.S. federal laws. Federal laws apply in Alaska as they do across all 50 states. In addition to the U.S. Constitution, which is the supreme law of the U.S., federal laws include statutes that are periodically codified in the U.S. Code. Federal laws also include decisions by courts that interpret federal laws. Finally, federal laws include regulations issued by federal administrative agencies to implement federal laws. You can explore federal laws and related resources by visiting the federal law section of the Justia site.
The state of Alaska also has its own state laws. Alaska state laws include the Alaska Constitution, laws passed by the Alaska legislature and periodically codified in the Alaska Statutes, and decisions by courts that interpret Alaska laws.
Ratified in 1956, the Alaska Constitution took effect three years later when Alaska was admitted as a state. The authors of the Alaska Constitution sought to produce a streamlined document that would promote efficiency in government. As a result, the document grants substantial power to the Governor of Alaska. Under Article XIII, the Alaska Constitution may be amended in two ways. First, an amendment proposed in the legislature will appear on a ballot if two-thirds of each chamber of the legislature votes in its favor. Also, a proposal for a constitutional convention will appear on a ballot at intervals no greater than 10 years.
The Alaska Statutes contain the laws passed by the Alaska legislature. These laws and the provisions of the Alaska Constitution are often interpreted by the Alaska Supreme Court and the Alaska Court of Appeals. The federal Alaska District Court also issues decisions that may affect Alaska residents. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals holds the authority to review decisions by the Alaska District Court. Sometimes the U.S. Supreme Court may review a case that has been appealed from the Ninth Circuit or from the Alaska Supreme Court.