Freedmen are confident following Cherokee appeal
Posted: May 09, 2008
by: Jerry Reynolds / Indian Country Today
WASHINGTON - The Cherokee Nation and its freedmen met in court May 6 in a case over tribal sovereignty and minority rights.
''The Freedmen assert that the Thirteenth Amendment's prohibition of 'badges and incidents of slavery,' along with the Treaty of 1866, abrogates the tribe's immunity,'' U.S. District Judge Henry H. Kennedy Jr. wrote in a Dec. 19, 2006, decision. The court agreed on grounds that the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery, is an ''absolute declaration'' of Congress that slavery or involuntary servitude, including its ''badges and incidents'' or relics, is outlawed. ''And there is no dispute that the broad sweep of the Thirteenth Amendment applies to Indian tribes.'' Inability to vote would be considered a ''badge incident to slavery'' under Kennedy's interpretation.
Kennedy also found that the 1866 treaty, renewing Union relations with the Cherokee after the tribe had sided with the Confederacy during the Civil War, expressed ''Congress's unequivocal intent to limit the Nation's sovereignty as a condition of recognition by the United States.'' After reviewing further statutes of Congress passed to protect freedmen interests, Kennedy concludes: ''By repeatedly imposing such limitations on the sovereignty of the Cherokee Nation in order to protect the Freedmen, Congress has unequivocally indicated its intent to abrogate the tribe's immunity with regard to racial oppression prohibited by the Thirteenth Amendment. Although the right to vote is not explicitly mentioned by the Thirteenth Amendment, there can be no doubt that the right to vote is fundamental and cannot be denied on account of race.''
For the rest of the story:
(this appears to go against all other cases in other districts - Congress passed the Indian Civil Rights Act because it apparently found that the Bill of Rights didn't apply to the Tribes - however, this judge now views the Bill of Rights at least applies to the Cherokee Nation. The Right to Vote in the Bill of Rights one would think would apply to the U.S elections, not Tribal Elections. Once again tribal policy gets murkier and more muddled depending on who wants what.
The 1866 Treaty didn't even consider voting rights - there wasn't any central Cherokee government then - again we have a social engineering judge ready to carve out of a Treaty that which is not there.
The 1866 Treaty is the badge of slavery for both the Cherokee Nation and the Freedmen.
I can't for the life of me figure out why, non Cherokees would want to belong to the Tribe?
Why is there not an outcry by Congress that the 1866 Treaty is not enforced in it's entirety?
Again, this is not a Black Civil Rights case - it's an Indian Case - so what, we're just going to ignore years of Indian cases? This really turns reality on it's head.)