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Both sides claim victory in Freedmen case
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Filed Under: Law

TheCherokee Nation, of Oklahoma and the Cherokee Freedmen both declared victory after the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling on Tuesday in the controversial case.

The tribe declared that the court dismissed the Freedmen's lawsuit. Chief Chad Smith said the decision protects tribal sovereign immunity.

Marilyn Vann, the lead plaintiff in the case, also called the decision a win. She said the Freedmen, who are the descendants of former African slaves, can seek to protect their rights under an 1866 treaty.

In the 26-page decision, the court ruled that the tribe cannot be sued without its consent. But tribal officials can't hide behind sovereign immunity for alleged violations of the treaty, the court said.

Vann initially sued the Interior Department after the Freedmen were not allowed to vote in a tribal election. The tribe then stripped the Freedmen of citizenship in another election.

Get the Story:
Court keeps Freedmen lawsuit alive (The Oklahoman 7/30)
Username: indianz@indianz.com, Password: indianz
Freedmen, tribe alike see victory in ruling (The Tulsa World 7/30)
Appeals court: Freedmen can sue tribal officials (The Journal Record 7/30)
Cherokee Freedmen Claim Legal Victory (The Northwest Arkansas Morning News 7/30)

D.C. Circuit Decision:
Vann v. Kempthorne (July 29, 2008)

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Cherokee officials open to lawsuit from Freedmen (7/29)
Letter: Cherokee Nation risks sovereign rights (6/23)
Obama meets Congressional Black Caucus (6/20)
Letter: Rep. Watson wrong on Cherokee Freedmen (6/13)
Sen. Obama claims Democratic nomination (6/4)
Rep. Watson: Obama wrong on Cherokee Freedmen (5/14)
Cherokee chief praises Obama as 'good president' (5/12)
Obama wants courts to resolve Freedmen dispute (5/9)
Letter: A solution to Cherokee Freedmen issue (5/8)
Appeals court hears Cherokee Freedmen dispute (5/7)
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