Indianz.com is back up. If it was ever down in the first place; always keep in mind the distinct possibility that I'm an idiot.
Today's blues: Appeals court won't recognize tribal authority
Applying Supreme Court precedent seen as negative to Indian rights, a federal appeals court last week refused to uphold tribal authority over a health clinic located on tribal land.
In a unanimous ruling, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals questioned the reach of tribal sovereignty. A three-judge panel said there is a "heavy presumption" against a tribal court's ability to resolve disputes involving the clinic.
The finding was based on Nevada v. Hicks, a pivotal 2001 Supreme Court ruling in which a tribal court was denied the right to hear a dispute involving state officials accused of violating tribal and federal law. At a rally in Washington, D.C., last week, tribal leaders repeatedly referred to the case as a hindrance to self-determination.
Granted, there's a sniper on the loose in the D.C. area, and yes, I don't follow the news as well as I should, but somehow I managed to miss hearing about a rally by any tribal leaders in our nation's capitol last week.
Google News, as usual, is your friend.
Indian Country Today: Campaign against "terminators in black robes"
Passers-by stopped in surprise at the array of tribal regalia on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court during the Oct. 7 Sovereignty Run rally, but it made a serious point. In a dramatic change from the past, Indian country now fears that the biggest threat to its progress comes from the nations highest court.
The rally brought representatives of 50 native nations, including Alaskans, Hawaiians and Taino from Puerto Rico, together with legal scholars, leaders of the National Congress of American Indians and Senate Majority Leader Thomas Daschle for a program of speeches attacking a trend in the Supreme Court that many feel is undercutting tribal sovereignty. The rally, and the end of a 2,800-mile cross-country relay run across the United States, coincided with the opening of the Courts fall term.
Daschle jogged the last leg of the run along with NCAI President Tex Hall and 40 other Indian runners, including Sovereignty Run Team Leader Fawn Sharp, Quinault, who participated on the run throughout its entire cross-country course from the Quinault reservation in Washington State. The final stages were rerouted because of the on-going sniper scare in the northern Washington suburbs.
Speaking to the gathering of about 200, Daschle said, "Tribal sovereignty is a fundamental American principle that is rooted in laws and treaties and cannot be broken."
If you read that last sentence without laughing, you're a better person than me.
In fact, no matter what, you're probably a better person than me.