Venetie foe up for appeals court again
Facebook Twitter Email

A lawyer who fought Alaska Native sovereignty at the Supreme Court was renominated on Tuesday for a federal appeals court position.

John G. Roberts Jr. represented the state of Alaska in the historic Venetie case. The Supreme Court ruled that certain Alaska Native lands cannot be considered Indian Country.

He also helped the state of Hawaii in a Supreme Court dispute affecting Native Hawaiian rights. He lost the case, opening the door for non-Native input and control over Native trust programs.

Roberts had been one of President Bush's first nominees in 2001. But the Democrat-controlled Senate never gave him a hearing.

If confirmed, Roberts would sit on the D.C Circuit Court of Appeals, which hears cases affecting federal agencies and appeals from the District Court for the District of Columbia. The most famous is the Cobell Indian trust fund lawsuit. A three-judge panel of the court in February 2001 unanimously upheld the right of more than 500,000 American Indians to an accounting of their funds.

Relevant Documents:
Nominations 1 | Nominations 2

Relevant Links:
Federal Judicial Nominees, DOJ -

Related Stories:
Federal judges a new concern for tribes (11/15)
Bush wants to speed judicial nominees (10/31)
Tribes take aim at candidate (10/29)
Bush lawyer rises through ranks for judgeship (05/23)
Senate confirms Olson as Solicitor General (5/25)
Bush nominee no stranger to court battles (5/23)
Bush names judges to Montana federal court (5/22)
Bush nominee familiar with Indian law (5/9)