Andrew Huff and Tim Coulter have released “Defending Morton v. Mancari and the Constitutionality of Legislation Supporting Indians and Tribes”.
Quote from the article
Supporting and defending the Mancari decision and the rule that it stands for – that laws benefiting tribes are not unconstitutional racial classifications – is a very high priority, perhaps the most urgent and important Indian law issue of our time. This paper reviews the decision in Mancari and the law leading up to and following it. We then turn to a discussion of the present challenges to the Mancari rule. In Part V, we suggest possible ways to support the decision and its rationale, and we discuss some additional legal arguments and approaches for defending the constitutionality of legislation benefiting tribes.
PDF of paper below and paper is available for download here
From Bozeman Daily Chronicle
Corporations, churches and even canasta clubs have more rights under U.S. law than American Indian tribes, and respect for human rights and basic fairness demand this must change, says a veteran Indian lawyer and rights advocate.
“All we want is ordinary justice,” Tim Coulter, a Potawatomi Indian and director of the Indian Law Resource Center in Helena, said Friday.
Coulter, who has battled for Indian rights for 40 years and has been honored by Columbia University for his work, spoke to a crowd of about 100 attending the American Indian Law and Resistance Symposium at Montana State University.
Congress has the power to take Indian tribal lands, seize millions of dollars from Indian accounts, take over tribal governments, and even wipe out the legal existence of tribes, Coulter said.
Injustice toward Indians is deeply imbedded in U.S. law, he said. The entire legal framework of U.S. Indian law is based upon the notion that the federal government possesses “plenary powers,” which aren’t written anywhere in the U.S. Constitution, but were invented by the U.S. Supreme Court, he said. That idea has been enforced by the government for the past 200 years.
Just as the black civil rights movement of the 1960s dismantled the racist “separate but equal” laws, Indians need to dismantle the racist framework of laws that deny their rights, he argued.
Here is the podcast for the Indian Nations and Indigenous Peoples panel on the UN declaration at AALS.
Coulter Robert T. – Speaker
Angelique Eaglewoman – Speaker
G.W. Rice – Speaker
Wenona Singel – Moderator