Supreme Court Says Congress Must Live Up to its Treaty Obligations
Article from For Liberty by Norm Leahy.
In one of its final decisions for the 2019-2020 term, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Congress must abide by the promises and treaties it made to native tribes in the 1830s granting them a permanent homeland in what is now Oklahoma.
The effect of the ruling is that nearly half the state, including much of Tulsa, now appears to fall under the jurisdiction of the Muscogee Nation.
Writing for the majority, Justice Neil Gorsuch said that while Congress has, over time, “diminished” the amount of land under native control, “Congress has never withdrawn the promised reservation.”
Instead, Congress has relied on neglect and indifference to get out of its treaty obligations.
“Yes, promises were made, but the price of keeping them has become too great, so now we should just cast a blind eye,” Gorsuch said.
“If Congress wishes to withdraw its promises,” he said, “it must say so. Unlawful acts, per-formed long enough and with sufficient vigor, are never enough to amend the law.”
“To hold otherwise would be to elevate the most brazen and longstanding injustices over the law, both rewarding wrong and failing those in the right.”
The immediate effects are unclear, but could be wide-ranging:
The decision puts in doubt hundreds of state convictions of Native Americans and could change the handling of prosecutions across a vast swath of the state. Lawyers were also examining whether it had broader implications for taxing, zoning and other government functions. But many of the specific impacts will be determined by negotiations between state and federal authorities and five Native American tribes in Oklahoma.
The bottom-line: if Congress wants to change the treaty it should do so publicly and on the record. It’s a big step toward accountability.
Image Credit: Joe Ravi [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Congress should simply act and set everything right.
Congress cannot simply change a treaty. By definition the treaty is binding unless and until a new treaty is approved and ratified by ALL parties involved. By definition a treaty that could be modified by one side without requiring agreement from all parties would not in fact be a treaty and would in fact be an insult to our Constitution.
what needs to happen is to give the INJUNS REPARATIONS! THE blACKS CAME AFTER THE INJUNS WERE UNDER BIO-LOGICAL attack by the British, French, and the colonials. the first use of china19 in the USA was the introduction of SMALLPOX ON THE INJUNS BY THE BRITISH! with the full knowledge of the colonials. and the slaughter has not stopped since then!? the injuns are more in need then the blacks, illegals, spikes, or any others; save our native people!? save our history and the name of the Indian nation is first then AMERICAN.😫🐱🐉🦹♀️🤙☣
Gorsuch should comply with HIS OWN promises or resign now. HE should talk. Hypocrite,
And just what would be those promises made under law? But I take it you DO believe that two wrongs make a right.
It’s about time the Native Americans were recognized as being neglected and taken such advantage of. Thank you Neal Gorsuch .
This decision will cause a lot of angst and confusion in the State, but the Court was right. We must keep our promises.
The tax payers of Minnesota just placed a bounty on Rep
Omar’s Head !
Cool!! Where do we sign up? 🤑
Cool!! sounds like a plan to me! 🤑
I have always wondered what happened to those treaties, made in the 19th century. None of them were ever honored by our Congress, nor the people of this countries, and that means whites, blacks, or Hispanics. The question now is how can that be reversed ? And that is not just here in this country, but in Mexico, Canada, or even in New Zealand, and Australia. I would love it if President Trump could fix this one like maybe adding native Americans to represent themselves in Congress, like blacks and Hispanics do in the cities they live in.
just what we need, people that dance around with rattlesnakes, cover themselves in bear fat, had no written language, worships anything that moves and opens casinos but can’t manage them
Since SCOTUS shamefully side-stepped fixing asset forfeiture laws, how about we seize ALL assets of ALL living House Representatives (R & D, acting and retired) who have ALL failed to correct this “treaty violation?”
Works for me! 👍👍