Freedmen Case Before DC Circuit Court of Appeals
From Indianz.com, via Wampum who caught it before I did. I tend to agree with Judge Steven Russell (who comes from a long line of Cherokee Judges) that the panels' questions indicate they don't necessarily believe the Cherokee Nation has to be sued by the Freedmen in order for the Federal Gov't to enforce the Treaty of 1866. So, if that's really what the panel is thinking, does that mean the BIA would disallow the 2003 Constitution? Sever the government-to-government relationship with CN until the Freedmen are guaranteed citizenship? Both of the above? And, of course, we shouldn't get too excited that this will all be resolved anytime soon; whoever is on the losing end of the three judge panel's decision will move for a rehearing en banc (before the entire Court, including the virulently anti-Indian Judge Janice Rogers Brown); whoever loses that will likely appeal to the US Supreme Court. And if it gets into the hands of this Supreme Court, God help us all. If there's anyway for the Freedmen, CN AND tribal sovereignty to ALL lose, this Supreme Court will find it.
UPDATE: And speaking of threats to tribal sovereignty, the Smith Administration has succeeded in having the Delaware Tribe stripped of its Federal recognition (and funding), the first time this has happened since the end of the Termination Era.