Interesting that Professor Ogletree was limited to not discussing the case, or even inviting some of the plaintiffs in the case to give their remarks. Reportedly, Chad Smith could show a video and give both legal and political arguments.
How one-sidedly staged can one event be?
Whether descendants of former slaves once owned by Cherokee Indians have citizenship rights in the tribe is a moral issue.
Professor Charles Ogletree Jr. and Cherokee Nation Chief Chad Smith discussed the freedmen issue Thursday at the Federal Bar Association's Annual Meeting and Convention in Oklahoma City.
Cherokee voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment in March 2007 that would remove about 2,800 freedmen from the tribe's rolls. That eliminated their eligibility for medical and other tribal services.Smith says tribal members have a sovereign right to determine eligibility for citizenship in the tribe.
But Ogletree says everyone loses when groups narrowly define citizenship. He says defining citizenship by blood ancestry may not be the best way.
Norman attorney Jon Velie said freedmen were entitled to Cherokee citizenship under the 1866 treaty.
“As a matter of law, the freedmen are citizens,” he said.