Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Amended Accordingly

Go to Links: Citizenship Status/Judge Rules

The Cherokee Nation declares that its Constitution was amended accordingly (Citizenship Status)

However, Judge Henry H. Kennedy, a Clinton appointee, in Washington D.C., said “the descendants of former slaves can sue the tribe and its leaders, including Principal Chief Chad Smith. He said the tribe’s sovereign immunity was abrogated by Congress, by treaty, and by the Thirteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which outlawed slavery.” Also, noting that “the prohibition of slavery covers private parties such as the Cherokee Nation” and “[T]here is no dispute that the broad sweep of the Thirteenth Amendment doesn’t apply to Indian tribes as well.”

Kennedy states that “a post-Civil War treaty signed in 1866 requires the tribe to treat the Freedmen fairly,” and “despite the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment and Congressional ratification of the 1866 treaty, the tribe has not lived up to its word.” Thus, “almost immediately after the emancipation of the Freedmen, the Cherokee Nation began marginalizing them.”

Kennedy then reveals that “Congress subsequently passed two laws to ensure the Cherokee Freedmen were protected” and that “the U.S. Supreme Court also confirmed the citizenship and property rights of the former slaves.” Therefore, “by repeatedly imposing such limitations on the sovereignty of the Cherokee Nation in order to protect the Freedmen, Congress has unequivocally indicated its intent to abrogate the tribe’s immunity with regard to racial oppression prohibited by the Thirteenth Amendment.” (Judge rules)

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