Aaron Payment: Tribal sovereignty hangs in the balance at Supreme Court

Aaron Payment, the chairman of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians speaks at the White House Tribal Nations Conference in Washington, D.C, on November 5, 2015. Still image from White House / YouTube

U.S. Senators Are Not Above The Law
Tell your Senators to hold hearings on the President’s nomination for U.S. Supreme Court
By Aaron A. Payment
Chairperson, Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians

Regardless of political ideology or party, Americans recognize the importance of following the basic rules of government laid out in the U.S. Constitution.

As President Ronald Reagan said in 1988 at the confirmation of Justice Kennedy, “The federal judiciary is too important to be made a political football and the American people should expect … for the Senate to get to work and act.”

Today, some U.S. Senators are threatening to turn their backs on Constitutional requirements to hold hearings to consider the President’s nominee for U.S. Supreme Court.

There are several key cases impacting sovereignty pending or heading to the Supreme Court. These cases hang in the balance. It is irresponsible for U.S. Senator’s to thwart our democracy and balance of power through their dereliction of duty.

Tell your Senators that this is unacceptable. They don’t need to support the President of the United States, but they do need to honor and follow the Constitution indiscriminately and “get to work and act” by scheduling confirmation hearings.

U.S. Senators are not above the law.

Tell your Senators to hold hearings on the President’s nomination for U.S. Supreme Court. You can find your Senators at www.senate.gov/senators/contact.

Aaron A. Payment serves as chairperson of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians in Michigan, a position he has held since 2012 and previously from 2004 to 2008. He currently serves on the National Advisory Council on Indian Education and has held numerous tribal and state positions in Michigan.

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