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Freedmen anticipate Cherokee Nation appeal to Supreme Court





The president of the Descendants Of Freedmen Of The Five Civilized Tribes expects the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the Freedmen citizenship dispute.

Marilyn Vann sued the Interior Department for allowing the tribe to deny citizenship to the Freedmen, who are the descendants of African slaves. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the tribe's leaders -- namely, Principal Chief Bill John Baker -- can also be sued.

The tribe asked the D.C. Circuit to reconsider the decision but the request was denied. Vann thinks a Supreme Court petition is on the way.

"Seeing that they didn’t accept what the three (appellate) judges said, there is good chance for that. But they have a right to do so," Vann told The Muskogee Phoenix.

A different lawsuit filed by another group of Freedmen is pending in federal court in Oklahoma. In that case, the Obama administration is asking for a ruling on the main issue in the case -- whether the Freedmen are entitled to citizenship under an 1866 treaty.

Get the Story:
Freedmen lawsuit rolling again (The Muskogee Phoenix 3/14)

DC Circuit Decision:
Vann v. DOI (December 14, 2012)

Related Stories:
DC Circuit won't reconsider decision in Cherokee Freedmen case (3/13)
Opinion: Cherokee Freedmen controversy goes back a century (02/18)
DC Circuit allows suit against Cherokee chief in Freedmen case (12/14)