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Robert Odawi Porter: Indian Country gains with Supreme Court pick

Filed Under: Law | Opinion | Politics
More on: democrats, donald trump, neil gorsuch, republicans, robert odawi porter, senate, supreme court
     
   

A rally against Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump's nominee for the .S. Supreme Court. Photo: Elvert Barnes

Democrats and Republicans are gearing up for a major fight over the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. Robert Odawi Porter, an attorney and former president of the Seneca Nation, urge tribes to support Gorsuch, arguing that tribes won't find someone else more well-versed in Indian law and policy:
If Judge Gorsuch is confirmed and can help lead the court to respect the Constitution, Indian treaties, and the Court’s precedent that respects tribal sovereignty, then Indian country and Native people will be much better off in the long run.

Of course, no one has a crystal ball, and we have no way of knowing how Judge Gorsuch will rule in Indian law cases if he becomes Associate Justice Gorsuch. But if his past is any guide, there is a strong likelihood that he will help stabilize the court’s Indian law jurisprudence in our favor.

I’m well aware that the country is politically divided and that any judge nominated by President Trump is presumed unacceptable to most politically active Indians and tribal leaders. But I suggest we set aside the distraction of worrying about the White Man’s political battles with each other right now and focus on what is best for our Native people in the long run.

If Judge Gorsuch is rejected – as Senate Democrats seem dedicated to ensure that – will the next nominee be better for Indian country? The fact is that Judge Neil Gorsuch is likely the most qualified and knowledgeable nominee for the Supreme Court ever. I don’t think we can take the chance that the next nominee will know more about Indians, Indian tribal sovereignty, or Indian law than Judge Gorsuch.

Read More on the Story:
Robert Odawi Porter: Judge Neil Gorsuch Is Worthy of Indian Country Support (Indian Country Media Network 4/4)

Native American Rights Fund Documents:
Nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court of the United States – An Indian Law Perspective | Neil Gorsuch: Summary of Indian Law Cases

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