Freedmen Win Ruling
A Federal judge has ruled that the Freedmen can sue the Cherokee Nation (and Principal Chief Chad Smith) over efforts to write them out of the Tribe. Normally, of course, the Constitution does not strictly apply to tribal governments, since they predate the existence of the United States, but Judge Henry H. Kennedy, Jr. made an exception, noting that the Freedmen were descendants of Cherokee slaves and that the Thirteenth Amendment, and the 1866 Treaty that freed them, waived the Tribe's sovereign immunity in this regard. This ruling, or rather the need for it, makes me sad, because it unquestionably diminishes Cherokee tribal sovereignty. But don't blame the Freedmen; blame the Principal Chief and others who insist on ignoring history in an effort to shove the Freedmen out of the Tribe. They have brought this on themselves, and the Tribe will suffer for it. It didn't have to be this way.