Alaska COA Rejects Yup’ik Free Exercise Defense to Criminal Prosecution for Salmon Fishing

Here is the opinion:

Phillip v. State

An excerpt:

In June 2012, the thirteen defendants in this case — all Yup’ik fishermen living a subsistence lifestyle — were charged with violating the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s emergency orders restricting fishing for king salmon on the Kuskokwim River. The defendants moved for dismissal of the charges, asserting that their fishing for king salmon was religiously based activity, and that they were entitled to a religious exemption from the emergency orders under the free exercise clause of the Alaska Constitution.

Briefs are here.

Briefs in Phillip v. State of Alaska — Yup’ik Fishers Case


Appellants Opening Brief

ACLU Alaska Amicus Brief

AVCP and AFN Amicus Brief

State Brief

Appellants Reply Brief

Victoria Sweet posted the Atlantic Monthly profile of this case here.