Call for Presentations for NAICJA Annual Conference!

Call for Presentations_NAICJA-NationalConf_02-28-20_final

CALL FOR PRESENTATION PROPOSALS 2020

National Tribal Judicial and Court Personnel Conference Deadline:

Friday, April 10, 2020, 5:00 pm MST

Submission form: https://naicja.wufoo.com/forms/m10hpejn06xrvqf/

The National American Indian Court Judges Association (NAICJA) invites presentation proposals for the 51st Annual National Tribal Judicial and Court Personnel Conference to be held October 20-23, 2020, at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin. NAICJA’s Annual Conference offers innovative and timely tribal justice information through high quality presentations by national experts. This is your opportunity to share your expertise and display your creativity by developing an original program for presentation. Proposals specifically tailored to meet the needs of the 300-person NAICJA audience are strongly preferred.

New Fletcher Paper: “The Rise and Fall of the Ogemakaan”

Please check out my new paper, “The Rise and Fall of the Ogemakaan,” now available on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

Anishinaabe (Odawa, Bodewadmi, and Ojibwe) legal and political philosophy is buried under the infrastructure of modern self-determination law and policy. Modern Anishinaabe tribes are rough copies of American governments. The Anishinaabeg (people) usually choose their ogemaag (leaders) through an at-large election process that infects tribal politics with individualized self-interest. Those elected leaders, what I call ogemaakaan (artificial leaders) preside over modern governments that encourage hierarchy, political opportunism, and tyranny of the majority. While modern tribal governments are extraordinary successes compared to the era of total federal control, a significant number of tribes face intractable political disputes that can traced to the philosophical disconnect from culture and tradition.

Anishinaabe philosophy prioritizes ogemaag who are deferential and serve as leaders only for limited purposes and times. Ogemaag are true representatives who act only when and how instructed to do so by their constituents. Their decisions are rooted in cultural and traditional philosophies, including for example Mino-Bimaadiziwin (the act of living a good life), Inawendewin (relational accountability), Niizhwaaswii Mishomis/Nokomis Kinoomaagewinawaan (the Seven Gifts the Grandfathers or Grandmothers), and the Dodemaag (clans). I offer suggestions on how modern tribal government structures can be lightly modified to restore much of this philosophy.

Fletcher Materials for NAICJA Presentation on Tribal Attorney Regulation and ABA Rule 8.4(g) (Andrew Adams and Kristen Carpenter will join me)

Judge Andrew Adams III
Hon. Kristen Carpenter

Kristen’s paper is here.

These are excerpts of Fletcher’s presentation:

Continue reading

Alex Skibine on Legislating Tribal Civil Jurisdiction Over Non-Members

Alexander Tallchief Skibine has posted a very interesting paper, “Incorporation Without Assimilation: Legislating Tribal Civil Jurisdiction Over Non-Members,” on SSRN. It is forthcoming in the UCLA Law Review Discourse.

The abstract:

For the last 40 years the Supreme Court has been engaged in a measured attack on the sovereignty of Indian tribes when it comes to tribal court jurisdiction over people who are not members of the tribe asserting that jurisdiction. The Congress has already enacted legislation partially restoring some tribal courts’ criminal jurisdiction over non-members. This Essay proposes to legislatively reconfirm the civil jurisdiction of tribal courts over such non-members. After examining the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence in this area and summarizing the Court’s main concerns with such tribal jurisdiction, this Essay explores various legislative options before settling on a preferred course of action. The proposal set forth in the last part of this Essay would reconfirm tribal court civil jurisdiction over non-members provided the tribal courts has established personal jurisdiction over the parties. However, tribal courts’ determinations on this subject would be appealable to federal courts. Furthermore, the Essay proposes to allow non-members being sued in tribal courts the option of removing their cases to federal courts under certain conditions.

Federal Court Denies Sanctions Request in Dismissed Intra-Tribal Leadership Dispute

Here are the materials in Tribal Council of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma v. Foster (W.D. Okla.):

1 Complaint

9 Notice of Voluntary Dismissal

13 Motion for Sanctions

13-5 Wilkinson v Hamilton Tribal Court Opinion

13-30 Hamilton v Election Commission Tribal Court Opinion

16 Notice of Voluntary Dismissal

17 Response to Motion for Sanctions

18 Reply

20 DCt Order

MHA Nation Tribal Member Effort to Force Secretarial Election over Voting Rights Fails

Here are the materials in Cross v. Dept. of Interior (D. Ariz.):

1-complaint-1.pdf

10-motion-to-dismiss.pdf

11-response.pdf

12-reply.pdf

18-dct-order.pdf

65ibia089.pdf

65ibia157.pdf

Fletcher: “Law, Politics, and the Constitution”

Here, on SSRN.

The abstract:

The question whether Congress may create legal classifications based on Indian status under the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause is now reaching a critical point. Critics claim the Constitution allows no room to create race or ancestry based legal classifications. The critics are wrong. 

When it comes to Indian affairs, the Constitution is not colorblind. Textually, I argue, the Indian Commerce Clause and Indians Not Taxed Clause serve as express authorization for Congress to create legal classifications based on Indian race and ancestry, so long as those classifications are not arbitrary, as the Supreme Court stated a century ago in United States v. Sandoval and more recently in Morton v. Mancari. 

Should the Supreme Court reconsider those holdings, I suggest there are significant structural reasons why the judiciary should refrain from applying strict scrutiny review of Congressional legal classifications. The reasons are rooted in the political question doctrine and the institutional incapacity of the judiciary. Who is an Indian is a deeply fraught question to which judges have no special institutional capacity to assess. 

New Scholarship on IP and Traditional Knowledge in Tribal Codes

Dalindyebo Bafana Shabalala has posted “Intellectual Property, Traditional Knowledge, and Traditional Cultural Expressions in Native American Tribal Codes” on SSRN.

Here is the abstract:

Indigenous peoples and nations have been making demands for protection and promotion of their intellectual property, traditional knowledge, and traditional cultural expressions in domestic and international fora. The power of the basic demand is one that lies in claims of moral duty and human rights. This Article argues that in order for such claims to have power, one of the necessary elements for success is that the demandeurs themselves need to provide such protection within whatever scope of sovereignty that they exercise. In the context of Native American tribes seeking protection for Native American intellectual property under federal law in the broader territory of the United States, this Article argues that a necessary condition for success may be ensuring such protection on their own tribal territory. This Article serves as an early contribution to a broader research agenda aimed at providing more data as a basis for tribal claims for protection of their traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions. It presents a survey of the nature and scope of legal and formal protection that tribal legislation in the United States has provided for traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions. It further surveys and analyzes the nature and scope of protection provided under federal law and assesses the gap between what tribal codes provide and what federal law provides. It then proposes a series of next steps as a research agenda.