Law | Opinion

Turtle Talk: Cherokee Nation court inflames Freedmen dispute





"The real question becomes, then, will the vote tally seeming to favor Bill John Baker be sufficient to make irrelevant the votes of the descendants of the Cherokee Freedmen, hopefully mooting this inter-judicial showdown.

I have advocated that tribal courts, in narrow circumstances, should resist federal court orders where the federal court appears to have no other source of jurisdiction but for pure federal common law, such as National Farmers Union. I was thinking, and continue to think, that certain questions of tribal court authority should not concern federal interests — subject areas like tort claims by tribal members against nonmembers who have burned down the entire reservation or tortiously damaged tribal government property and vital materials. But I’d hate to see tribal sovereignty go to the wall to defend the decision of one tribe to clumsily racialize its membership criteria."

Get the Story:
Commentary: Cherokee Nation SCT Quashes Injunction Issued by Federal Court in Cherokee Freedmen Case (Turtle Talk 10/12)

Cherokee Nation Supreme Court Decisions:
Vann v. Salazar (October 11, 2011)
Cherokee Nation Registrar v. Nash (August 22, 2011)

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