JUNEAU, AK — No sooner did Governor Sarah Palin decide to abort her term in office after serving only two-and-a-half years, than debate began among Alaskans as to what constitutes a so-called “partial-term” administration.
The Alaska Supreme Court today is hearing arguments on both sides. At stake are three issues: At what point in time does an elected official’s administration become viable? How long must that official wait before terminating his or her own office? Should there be an exception if it is determined that continuing one’s term in office represented an imminent threat to that official’s life.
Palin’s lawyer argued that an administration is viable at 18 months. “Governor Palin waited 30 months before announcing the termination,” he said. “That’s long enough for her administration to be considered fully viable.”
But attorneys representing the state disagreed, claiming a governorship requires a full 48 months to be viable, and therefore any early termination is unconstitutional. “At 30 months, the governorship has yet to be fully formed,” explained the Attorney General. “Palin’s decision to have a partial-term administration is tantamount to murder; it killed the spirit and enthusiasm of the voters who elected her.”
Palin’s team countered, alleging that the State of Alaska has no regulatory authority in this area. “Since when do the voters get to decide when and for how long an elected official must stay in office?” asked her attorney. “The governor is an adult and capable of making these decisions on her own.”
The irony is not lost on the Alaska Teachers Association. “Governor Palin sought to eliminate ‘Government’ classes from our high school curriculum,” explained an ATA spokesperson. “I’ll let parents draw their own conclusions.”
Palin tried to downplay the situation. “This was a personal decision, arrived at amid great personal turmoil,” the Governor wrote on her blog. “I hope the press respects my right to privacy.”