Friday, July 31, 2015

Native American Civil Rights: Are Tribes WITHOUT Independent Courts CAPABLE of Unbiased Tribunals?

In the recent post from our friend Paul Johnson, Are Native Are Native Americans Entitled to Civil Rights...? , his first requirement of due  process was an UNBIASED TRIBUNAL.  Such unbiased tribunals do not apply to countless tribes, including Pala, Redding Rancheria and Pechanga to name but a few.

In Pechanga's disenrollment against the Manuela Miranda descendants (Salinas v. LeMere, 7/23/04) Judge Fields ruled that:

"The Defendant band...appears to be almost totally inadequate to the task.  To refer issues to a tribal council, all of whom have a personal stake in the outcome, few if any of whom have legal training and where the council is under no compunction to follow established due process rights, appears to fall into the category of "lack of adequate forum".

Judge Fields came to this conclusion after studying the briefs from BOTH sides for over three months.  
The appeals court overturned based solely on THREE words "TRIBAL SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY" and not on the merits.  Yet tribes try claim that cases HAVE been decided on the merits.
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