Law | Opinion

Mike Myers: Supreme Court ready to cheat Native people again

Ed. Note: The opinion linked below was written by Mike Myers, not Alex Jacobs. It is now properly attributed.

Native women and their supporters rallied at the U.S. Supreme Court on December 7, 2015, as the justices heard Dollar General Corporation v. Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, a tribal jurisdiction case. Photo by Indianz.Com

Mike Myers (Seneca Nation) of the Network for Native Futures won't be surprised if the U.S. Supreme Court delivers another blow to tribal interests in Nebraska v. Parker, a reservation boundary dispute case affecting the Omaha Tribe that will be heard on Wednesday:
Way back when the City of Sherrill case was headed to the U.S. Supreme Court I had a conversation with a non-Indigenous lawyer friend of mine about it. He concluded that it was an excellent case and “theoretically” it should be won if it were a case involving just white folks. But since it involved the Oneidas his comment was, “This is going to be a case where the Supreme Court just makes sh%& up and the Oneidas are going to lose just cuz.”

I asked him, “What do you mean ‘just cuz’?” He smiled and said, “Just cuz you’re Indians. Do you really think these guys are going to allow you to get land back – even if it’s the right thing to do?”

And now we have Nebraska, et al. v. Mitch Parker, et al. sitting in the Supreme Court. And once again we’re in a situation where the Justices can just go ahead and make #@%& up and there’s not much that can be done about since they are the end of the line for U.S. justice.

What’s being said here is that the Indigenous nation and/or people have no claim or right just cuz we’re here and our presence automatically precludes any rights, interests or claims. It’s a pretty crude way of asserting the Doctrine of Discovery.

Get the Story:
Mike Myers: The Supreme Court's 'Just Cuz' Doctrine for Cheating Natives (Indian Country Today 1/18)

Supreme Court Documents:
Docket Sheet No. 14-1406 | Questions Presented | Hearing List: January 2016

8th Circuit Decision:
Smith v. Parker (December 19, 2014)

Federal Court Documents:
Status Report [Includes tribal court decision] | Court Order

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