Judge Rayes Denies Stay Requested due to Government Shutdown

“The federal government’s voluntary refusal to pay for its
own agency’s legal representation—despite ample resources to do so—does not constitute good cause for delaying this case.”

2019 01 10 order denying stay

UPDATE (Background materials):

1 complaint

15 motion to dismiss count ii

18 response

19 reply

23 dct order granting 15

28 george motion for summary judgment

32 response

34 reply

40 us motion to stay

41 amended motion

In Major Ruling, Tenth Circuit Holds Muscogee (Creek) Reservation Boundaries Remain Intact

Tenth Circuit in Murphy v. Royal holds that allotted Muscogee (Creek) Nation reservation in Oklahoma has not been disestablished, reversing State death penalty conviction of Creek tribal member.


Prior Posts:

Updated Materials in Murphy v. Royal (No. 07-7068, Tenth Circuit)


Muscogee (Creek) Reservation Boundaries at Issue in Tenth Circuit Death Penalty Habeas Appeal


Dollar General Reply Brief

“Petitioners are the non-Indian operators of a
business on a tribal reservation. Respondent Doe is a
member of the tribe. Doe seeks to hale petitioners
into his tribal court, asking the tribe to award him
millions of dollars in damages (including punitive
damages) for an alleged violation of unwritten tribal
tort law by one of petitioners’ employees.”

Dollar General Reply Brief

Additional Briefs HERE


Kanji & Katzen Attorney Ethel Branch Named Attorney General of the Navajo Nation

It is with a mixture of great pride and sadness that Kanji & Katzen, PLLC, announces that Ethel Branch is leaving the firm to become the eleventh Attorney General of the Navajo Nation. Since joining the firm in 2012, Ethel has served our clients with great distinction. She has brought her creative legal mind, unwavering attention to detail, and stellar work ethic to bear on matters ranging from natural resources protection to the enforcement of gaming compacts. Moreover, as co-chair of the Seattle Human Rights Commission, Ethel was instrumental in the City’s establishment of Indigenous Peoples Day and in the Commission’s decision to call for a boycott of corporate sponsors of the Washington NFL football team, a call the firm was pleased to heed. Ethel has been a wonderful colleague, and we have benefited greatly from her intellect, energy, kindness, and humor.

In short, Kanji & Katzen will be very sorry to see Ethel go. However, we know that she will bring the same qualities that have made her such a valuable colleague and attorney to her new position. As the head of the Navajo Nation Department of Justice, Ethel will have the opportunity to discharge what she rightly views as a sacred responsibility to her own Nation, supervising a highly qualified team of lawyers engaged in an array of challenging and important legal matters on behalf of the country’s largest Indian nation. We have no doubt that she will work tirelessly to protect and advance the interests not only of the Nation but of Indian country more generally. We wish Ethel the very best in her new endeavor.

Review: ‘The Plains Indians,’ America’s Early Artists, at the Met

Some of the earliest surviving art by native North Americans left America long ago. Soldiers, traders and priests, with magpie eyes for brilliance, bundled it up and shipped it across the sea to Europe. Painted robes, embroidered slippers and feathered headdresses tinkling with chimes found their way into cupboards in 18th-century London and Paris, and lay there half-forgotten. Continue reading

Seattle Human Rights Commission Calls on City to Urge Water Quality Standards Protective of Health and Human Rights

Seattle Human Rights Commission

1963 – 2015   ·   52 years of championing human rights and fostering a just future

March 9, 2015

Human Rights Commission Calls on City to Urge Water Quality Standards Protective of Health and Human Rights; Announces a Seattle Public Hearing on the Proposed Standards

For information contact:

Ethel Branch

(206) 344-8100


SEATTLE–Today the Seattle Human Rights Commission sent letters to the Mayor and City Council, urging them adopt a position on Washington State’s proposed revised Water Quality Standards (WQS) supportive of health and human rights. The Commission stated in their letter that “Our City residents and our economy are strongly rooted in fish. City residents should be able to eat fish caught in Washington waters without fearing that they have exposed themselves to harmful levels of toxics or placed themselves at undue risk of cancer.” Accordingly, the Commission asked the City to support the proposed resetting of the State’s fish consumption rate to an amount that will allow Washingtonians to healthfully eat one fish meal a day (175 g/day). Existing standards only protect Washington fish consumers in safely eating one fish meal a month (6.5 g/day). The Commission also urged the City to oppose the State’s proposed tenfold increase to Washingtonians’ cancer risk level. The fish consumption rate and the cancer risk level feed into a formula that the State uses to set limits on the amounts of toxic pollutants that can be released into the State’s waterways. In the course of a week, over a thousand Washingtonians—many Seattleites—have signed onto comments via change.org that urge the State to take this more health and human rights-based approach to revising our Water Quality Standards. Continue reading

Change the Name Boycott of Corporate Sponsors of the D.C. NFL Team — March Update

                                        Seattle Human Rights Commission

1963 – 2015   ·   52 years of championing human rights and fostering a just future

March 3, 2015

Hogen Adams, Lochen Silva, Yale Law School NALSA, and UW NALSA Join Change the Name Boycott of Corporate Sponsors of the D.C. N.F.L. Team

For information contact:

Ethel Branch

(206) 344-8100


SEATTLE–Lochen Silva, PLLC (Seattle and Minneapolis), Hogen Adams PLLC (St. Paul), and The Public Advocate, NC (Seattle) have joined the chorus of law firms boycotting the key corporate sponsors of the DC NFL team. This takes the number of law firms boycotting team sponsors to eight. The other firms boycotting team sponsors include Kanji & Katzen PLLC, Kewenvoyouma Law, Skenandore Law, Galanda Broadman, and the Alaska office of Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson & Perry, LLP.

The Yale Law School and University of Washington chapters of the Native American Law Students Association have also joined the boycott, as has the prominent Seattle-based nonprofit, OneAmerica, which was founded to combat hate and promote equality.

The corporate sponsors of the DC NFL team subject to the boycott include Bank of America, FedEx, Bud Light, Ameritel, Ticketmaster, and StubHub. Boycotters pledge to not purchase goods or services from these sponsors until the team changes its name.

The boycott comes at the behest of the Seattle Human Rights Commission, which charges that the team name is not just offensive, but is also a human rights violation, and so its use should cease. Immediately.

Multiple studies have found that mascots like the DC team’s have a direct effect on the self-esteem of Native American children and teenagers, whose suicide rate has increased 65 percent in the last decade. In just the last month, three Native youth have committed suicide on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota. These suicides came on the heels of a hate-laden incident at a Rapid City Rush hockey game wherein spectators hurled “beer baths and racial slurs” on a large group of Native children from Pine Ridge.

DC NFL team owner Dan Snyder defends the team name by saying it honors Native Americans, but the term was historically used to justify violence against Native Americans. Its continued use normalizes the dehumanization of Native people and emboldens hate crimes such as the one witnessed in Rapid City. This has a crushing effect on the psyche of Native youth. The name must change. Now. The Seattle Human Rights Commission urges you to join this boycott, which almost 200 individuals have joined, via this link: https://www.change.org/p/dan-snyder-boycott-d-c-n-f-l-team-sponsors-until-the-name-is-changed. ###