Wailin’ About Palin & the Supreme Court

We cannot emphasize enough how important the Supreme Court is in the actual day to day lives Native Americans.  The Court has recently started ruling against Indian interests at an alarming rate.  Just this year we were alarmed at Court decisions that came down against the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and upheld an incredibly strict voter identification law that Indian tribes opposed.


Now, the Supreme Court announced that it will once again hear the Navajo Nation’s case against the U.S. government for failing to carry out its trust duties and cheating the Tribe out of $600 million.  In 2003 the Supreme Court rejected the Navajo claim but sent the case back down to the lower courts to determine if there were specific laws that the government broke.  Well, the courts found that there were, but the case has wound its way back into the Supreme Court which is not a good sign if you’re Navajo.  And the Supreme Court has also decided that it will examine one of the cornerstone Indian laws – the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act – to see if the U.S. can actually take new land into trust for a tribe that had the misfortune of being nearly exterminated and only being formally recognized again 30 years ago.


We hear that two (John Paul Stevens, 88, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 75 with health issues) liberal Supreme Court Justices are likely to retire after the election.  That means either Barack Obama or John McCain will appoint the next two Justices.  If it’s Obama, that probably means the Court will probably hold its slightly conservative postion.  And if it’s McCain, it probably means a far more conservative court will emerge.  Either way, the likelihood is that the Court will stay that way for at least a decade.


But maybe what has us VERY concerned is McCain’s running mate, who may wind up being President and making the Supreme Court picks.  We found out this from Politico.


Of concern to McCain’s campaign, however, is a remaining and still-undisclosed clip from Palin’s interview with Couric last week that has the political world buzzing.


The Palin aide, after first noting how “infuriating” it was for CBS to purportedly leak word about the gaffe, revealed that it came in response to a question about Supreme Court decisions.


After noting Roe vs. Wade, Palin was apparently unable to discuss any major court cases.


There was no verbal fumbling with this particular question as there was with some others, the aide said, but rather silence.


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