Appeals court to hear Freedmen case
By Will Chavez
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Oral arguments for the lawsuit Vann v. Kempthorne have been set for May 6 in the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals.
The three-judge appeals court is expected to review a district court judge’s denial of motions to dismiss the case filed by the Cherokee Nation in 2006.
The tribe is challenging its inclusion in a lawsuit filed in 2003 by Cherokee Freedmen descendants led by Marilyn Vann of Oklahoma City. The suit contends the CN, with approval from the Department of Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, prevented Freedmen from participating in the 2003 CN elections. Freedmen are seeking a court order declaring those elections invalid and want the DOI secretary to not recognize the results until they are permitted to vote.
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Judges in this case:
Merrick B. Garland
Thomas B. Griffith
David S. Tatel