Writing in American Indian Law Journal Executive Editor Brent Mulvaney discusses Tribal Disenrollment and it's effects on sovereignty.
The article is The Tribal Franchise: An Expression of Tribal Sovereignty and a Potential Solution to Mass Disenrollment
...Because both the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the
Appellants acknowledged that federal courts lack jurisdiction to
review tribal membership decisions,251 it is important to recognize
that it is possible for tribal officials to constrain facts and the
legislative authority of their general membership to serve personal
ends that are wholly divorced from the will of the tribe.
genuine members of any tribe face disenrollment and the unified
will of their tribal community, as expressed through the tribal
franchise and recognized in a tribal constitution, cannot preserve
their personal, cultural, and biological identities, they have no
choice but to turn to litigation.
Here, the Appellants exhausted the
remedies provided by the tribe and were left with no other option
than to bring their challenge to federal court. Ideally, such recourse
would be amenable to the best argument. However, the only
argument to which the federal judiciary is—and arguably ought to
be—receptive is an ICRA-based challenge alleging that petitioners
have been detained.
As Jeffredo and other cases illustrate, such
challenges have a tendency to prove futile in the disenrollment
context. Assuming that the status quo is maintained, this case
illustrates the fact that the only effective prophylactic for preventing
unjust disenrollment and the potential spread of this epidemic is
ensuring that the popular vote of tribal members carries that level of authority that has been recognized in countless tribal constitutions,
which is the authority from which every other power of governance
arises: the will of the people.
Even if the authority of those facing
disenrollment is diminished, the remainder of the general
membership must have some way to challenge those actions of a
tribal council that it finds unjust.
Learn More on Disenrollment, Ethnic Cleansing in Indian Gaming Country at these Links:
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