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Old 07-29-2008, 08:47 PM   #1
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Freedmen Descendants' Lawsuit Against Cherokee Nation Dismissed July 29, 2008

Well its going to really heat up now
The Courts once again side with the Cherokee Nation over our rights as a "Sovereign Nation" going back long before the United States was formed

Read:
D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously rules that Cherokee Nation has sovereign immunity, Rejects Freedmen descendants' theory

Opinion says tribal sovereign immunity existed since founding of U.S. and continues today

WASHINGTON, DC. -- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit unanimously dismissed a lawsuit against the Cherokee Nation brought by a handful of non-Indian Freedmen descendants.
Judge Thomas Griffith, in his written opinion for the three members of the court, stated: “The Freedmen argue that our search for intent to abrogate is misguided because the Thirteenth Amendment and the 1866 Treaty predate the doctrine of tribal sovereign immunity, such that the drafters of those texts could not have foreseen the interpretive rule requiring express and unequivocal abrogation ... This argument misapprehends the nature of tribal sovereign immunity, which is not the product of any enactment but an inherent attribute of a tribe's sovereignty. Tribal sovereign immunity existed at the Founding, as surely as did tribal sovereignty, and our only concern is whether the Thirteenth Amendment or the 1866 Treaty later abrogated that immunity. The unequivocal-abrogation rule reflects the belief, as true in the nineteenth century as it is today, that lawmakers do not lightly discard sovereign immunity. We see no reason to depart from the established interpretive rule based on the vintage of the texts. Because nothing in the Thirteenth Amendment or the 1866 Treaty amounts to an express and unequivocal abrogation of tribal sovereign immunity, the Cherokee Nation cannot be joined in the Freedmen's federal court suit without the tribe's consent. We reverse the District Court’s determination to the contrary.”
“In the 1830s, the Cherokee Nation won court cases, but Congress and the President ignored the rulings and instead forcibly removed the Cherokee Nation from our eastern homelands on the Trail of Tears, killing more than a quarter of our tribe’s population,” said Chad Smith, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation. “It remains to be seen whether Congress will treat the Cherokee Nation any differently 170 years later. Today, the court held that the 1866 Treaty preserves the Nation’s sovereign immunity from these claims. What Congress and the Nation agreed to in 1866, the Congress should not violate now. The court has sent the case back to the District Court, and Congress should continue to let the courts decide.”
The appeals court remanded the case against tribal officials back to the District of Columbia District Court. Griffith wrote: “The District Court must determine whether ‘in equity and good conscience’ the suit can proceed with the Cherokee Nation’s officers but without the Cherokee Nation itself.”
“This decision is a strong affirmation for tribes across the country, who rely upon federal courts to uphold tribal sovereignty when it comes under attack,” said Chief Smith. “The court once again acknowledged that tribes have inherent sovereignty that predates the founding of the United States, and that tribal sovereign immunity still exists today.”
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File Type: pdf Court_Opinion[1].pdf (348.0 KB, 30 views)
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Old 07-29-2008, 09:05 PM   #2
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Wow, that is amazing, Josiah.

It's good that the gov is finally going to let the Tribes decide for themselves.

But you are right, it's gonna heat up now.
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Old 07-29-2008, 09:17 PM   #3
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Stop the Presses!

I just got through reading the whole court opinion

It boils down to this:
Cherokee Nation is immune to the suit brought by the Freedman...
But the officers of the Cherokee Nation are not!!!
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Old 07-29-2008, 09:33 PM   #4
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HUH? How can that be? That was a tribal vote, not just the decision of just a few people. That stinks.
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Old 07-29-2008, 11:46 PM   #5
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So...are they going to try to sue every voter then? And how would they know who voted for or against?
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Old 07-29-2008, 11:49 PM   #6
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Yeah, NOA--that's pretty much what I'm wondering too.
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Old 07-30-2008, 06:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timmy tiger View Post
Yeah, NOA--that's pretty much what I'm wondering too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthofAda View Post
So...are they going to try to sue every voter then? And how would they know who voted for or against?
Naw not like that
What they are saying is this
The Cherokee Nation as a Government is immune to a suit like this because it is a sovereign nation just like the US
But the officers of that government are not immune from the suit
Such as the Chief and Vice Chief and Council

Ok the next step in this saga is this now goes back to District Court to Determine if its warranted to continue the suit against the Officers of the Government.
Another words did they have a vindictive disposition against the Freedmen or were they acting in the behalf of the Nation as a whole

Also what the court is saying is let the Court decide cases such as this as has been done many times in the past and have Congress stay the hell out of it

All in all a pretty good day for Sovereignty
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Old 08-01-2008, 04:18 AM   #8
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This is interesting news with all its judicial/political twists and turns. All N8TV tribes are listening attentively to what will happen next. I certainly have my eyes wide open.
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Old 08-03-2008, 06:43 PM   #9
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Even IF they have a right, is expulsion RIGHT?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josiah View Post
I just got through reading the whole court opinion

It boils down to this:

Cherokee Nation is immune to the suit brought by the Freedman...
But the officers of the Cherokee Nation are not!!!
What it boils down to is a continued arrogant assertion of paternalistic domination by the invasive species and their anchor babies.

Wonderful opening quote:

"Indian tribes did not relinquish their status as sovereigns with the creation and expansion of the republic on the North American continent. The courts of the United States have long recognized that the tribes once were, and remain still, independent political societies."

...and then the reality begins to set in:

“Perhaps the most basic principle of all Indian law, supported by a host of decisions, is that those powers lawfully vested in an Indian nation are not, in general, delegated powers granted by express acts of Congress, but rather ‘inherent powers of a limited sovereignty which has never been extinguished.’ ”

Note the slippery insertion of 'limited' here as they start to erode the characteristics real sovereignty. You can't be partially sovereign just as you can't be partially pregnant. 'Limited' sovereignty is an oxymoron.

Then, speaking their 'truth', they let drop the other foot:

"That said, Congress may whittle away tribal sovereignty as it sees fit."

“Congress has plenary authority to limit, modify or eliminate the powers of local self-government which the tribes otherwise possess”

"tribes are “subject to ultimate federal control”

"tribes are only “semi-independent” ... “domestic dependent nations” whose “relation to the United States resembles that of a ward to his guardian”"

"Congress’s power to limit the scope of a tribe’s sovereignty extends to tribal sovereign immunity. “This aspect of tribal sovereignty, like all others, is subject to the superior and plenary control of Congress.”

“Congress has always been at liberty to dispense with such tribal immunity or to limit it.”


The simple reality is that the current tribal political machines are typically creations of the USA and derive their status and 'authority' from the USA. As fictional creations of the USA, they can be defined, redefined, controlled and terminated as the USA sees fit. Such USABIA imposed governance systems are usually modeled after the dictatorial, top-down corporate style system common to the States and communities of the USA. Seldom are they traditional in nature, where the power and authority rests in the hands of the people and they the people are the decision makers, by consensus not the vile system of 'majority rules'. The USA/BIA supports such newage 'native' governments because it facilitates their control and corruption.

Being creations of and empowered by the USA, such tribal governments' cries for sovereignty can't be heard so clearly. When and if power is returned to the people and they exercise it in traditional ways to reflect traditional values, then their demands for real sovereignty will merit more respect.


As for the Cherokee and the issues at hand...
When did race become a factor for tribal membership?
Who decided on matters of adopting someone?
The immediate family?
The clan?
The members of a town/village?
When was it that the concept of a 'nation' with a central government was implemented?
When did the towns lose their rights to autonomy and local control?
Was such a central government agreed to by consensus of the peoples of all of the associated autonomous towns?
By what right or authority does this new national government claim jurisdiction over adoptions, or over anyone for that matter?
Does it have authority to overturn the decisions made long ago by those that agreed to the Treaty of 1866?

Assuming, merely for sake of argument, such a 'sovereign' national government is legitimate, perhaps it would have the right to set standards for membership.

But is expelling the Black Cherokee without cause after 140+ years of citizenship the right thing to do? Or would such an action be deemed shameful by the ancestors? Doesn't keeping one's word mean anything any more?

Maybe, if legitimate, they would have a right to do it, but is it right for them to do it?

Does such an act really reflect the traditional values of a loving, generous, kind people? Or does it rather reflect the greed and racism brought to these lands by the invasive species that are now dominant?

The reality is that many of those on the Freedman rolls had Cherokee parentage. They were not 'non-Indian' by any means. They were full citizens of the Cherokee Nation. This racist 'non-Indian' label defies logic by twisting common terms into convoluted distortions of reality. Are not citizens of an Indian tribe, such as the Cherokee, Indians?

As stated, many of those on the Cherokee Freedman rolls had Cherokee blood also, not that this was relevant to whether or not they were citizens. The facts are that some siblings, of the same parents, are on different rolls depending on the whim and caprice of the recorders of the day. Being on the Freedman rolls does not mean they had no Cherokee blood, only that such was not deemed relevant to record at the time 100+ years ago. Now some draw the inaccurate and improbable conclusion that they had no Cherokee blood. Regardless, with or without Indian blood, they were legitimate citizens of the Cherokee Nation.

To strip them of this recognition now is shameful. And all for the sake of saving a buck. For fear these Black Cherokee will drain the coffers by expecting some semblance of community services. Shame!

More to the point, one stripped of tribal status loses the right to pray and practice traditional ceremonies in traditional ways. If they possessed an eagle feather, they are now rendered felons. If they dare participate in some ceremonies, they are subjected to the threat of arrest..

Of course this is of no concern to the white-hearted Indians who have long ago abandoned traditional values and culture. These have chosen the road to assimilation of the haughty, greedy, self-serving foreign colonial culture that has decimated the peoples through out the Americas, but especially more so in the British Occupation Zone - Canada and USA. These are the REAL 'non-Indians'!
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