Wednesday, July 30, 2008

13th Amendment against Tribal Officials?

Jon Velie, lead counsel for the Freedmen, called the ruling a victory for the Freedmen.

“The Court crafted an opinion that protects both tribal sovereignty and individual Indian civil rights. The treaty of 1866 coupled with the 13th Amendment prohibits Cherokee officials from denying fundamental rights to the Freedmen citizens. We can now proceed against US and Cherokee officials without toppling the principals of tribal sovereignty. This is a great day for Indian Country.”

(this 13th amendment argument has me truly baffled - if the Cherokee Officials are acting in their capacity as Tribal Officials - then they are immune - unless they have a personal interest in the matter or are personally trying to deny a constitutional right such as due process - since the Cherokee attorney stipulated to an injunction, I'm having some difficulty understanding where there is a personal interest at stake here for any of the Cherokee Officials and since this is also in the Cherokee Courts currently there is no due process violations - this appears to be a twisting of Indian Law and the Bill of Rights - see In re Young below - not to mention the Supreme Court has already ruled the Bill of Rights doesn't apply against the tribes)