Appeals court hears Cherokee Freedmen dispute
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
But all three judges seemed to be interested in resolving the case by leaving the Cherokee Nation out of the dispute. They suggested it was possible to order the Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne -- the original defendant -- to uphold the treaty without interfering with the tribe's internal governance.
"The Secretary can vacate the new constitution, can vacate the changes," said Garland. The department was not part of the hearing yesterday as the arguments were limited to the Cherokee Nation's involvement in the suit.
...In a similar case, the Bureau of Indian Affairs cut funds to the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma when tribal voters ousted their Freedmen. No similar action has been taken against the Cherokees which has led some members of Congress to draft legislation to deny funds to the tribe. (more discrimination against Indian Tribes or we've been down this road before, when will the Freedmen accept change?)
Marilyn Vann, a Freedmen leader who is the plaintiff in the lawsuit, defended that tactic in an interview after the hearing yesterday. She said Congress has the final say in Indian matters.'We believe Congress has the ultimate responsibility to ensure the law is carried out,' said Vann, who lives in Oklahoma. (but the courts are to interpret the laws - how can congress act without knowing what the law is yet? Oh, sorry this is the Congressional Black Caucus and yelling Racist is their law)
For the rest of the story:
(this was the only issue before the court as to whether or not Judge Kennedy could join the Cherokee Nation as a defendant in the Vann case. Although it appears that other remarks were made, it must be remembered the court of appeals did not have the other issues before it, in their entirety. Contrary to what the Freedmen would have you believe this was a victory for the Cherokee Nation, if the court rules in this way. Remember the opinion is not here yet.)