Tribal leaders to discuss court nominee, budget
Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Tribal leaders from across the country are showing their opposition today against appeals court nominee Bill Myers.

Representatives of the National Congress of American Indians, the National Indian Gaming Association, the California Nations Indian Gaming Association, the National Tribal Environmental Council and the Native American Rights Fund will explain why they do not want to see Myers sit on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The organizations accuse the former Department of Interior lawyer and former lobbyist of rolling back safeguards for sacred sites.

Michael Jackson, president of the Quechan Nation, will also speak. In 2002, Myers reversed a legal opinion that paved the way for a mining company to look for gold on the tribe's most sacred site in California.

A host of environmental organizations and several newspapers, including one in Myers' state of Idaho, oppose his nomination. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said she would vote against him. The Los Angeles Times in an editorial called attention to his "caustic and extremist views" on the environment.

The Boston Globe in an editorial said he "regularly did favors for the cattlemen and mining company owners, acting against the interests of tribes and protectors of public lands" while at Interior. The San Francisco Chronicle's editorial stated, "The promotion of public health, safety and welfare would be well served by keeping Myers off the federal bench."

The tribal meeting will take place in Room 325 of Russell Senate Building at 1 p.m. After the discussion on Myers, tribal leaders will call attention to the Bush administration's budget cuts at the Bureau of Indian Affairs. In 2005 and 2006, the administration plans to cut 6 percent in Indian programs.

Get the Story:
Feinstein Opposes Nominee (The Los Angeles Times 3/24)
Username: indianz, Password: indianzcom
Editorial: No Pal of the Environment (The Los Angeles Times 3/24)
Username: indianz, Password: indianzcom
Editorial: A hostile judge (The Boston Globe 3/22)
Editorial: Hostile to the environment (The San Francisco Chronicle 3/24)

Relevant Documents:
Environmental/Tribal Coalition Letter | NCAI Resolution | Environmental Group's Letter | Holland & Hart Biography

Indianz.Com Profile:
Industry insider named to Interior (March 30, 2001)