President Donald Trump speaks at an event at the White House on June 2, 2017. Photo: Joyce N. Boghosian / White House
Law | Opinion | Politics

Steve Russell: Indian Country's choice to stand up to Donald Trump





With President Donald Trump breaking new ground in law, politics and posts on Twitter, who is going to stand up to him? Steve Russell, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, thinks the job falls to Indian legal scholars:
There’s no denying that Chief Justice John Marshall was a very smart lawyer, and he probably belonged at the top of the new- judicial system being created out of whole cloth for the new country. He was charged with making the earliest attempts to square the circle of interpreting a written constitution within a system based on English common law.

English legal theory was all about how to adapt to the exigencies of new situations without disturbing the unwritten body of jurisprudence everybody relied upon. It was the attempt to write down fundamental law that enabled Justice Antonin Scalia to describe the Constitution as “a dead document,” words that acquired all the meaning they would ever have in 1788 (the year of ratification).

Marshall walked on in 1835, and it’s his legacy that makes American Indian legal scholars better equipped than their peers to deal with the virus in the body politic that is Donald J. Trump. If you all will remain seated and keep your hands where I can see them, I will try to explain.

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Uncertainty and Principles: Law in the Era of Trump (Indian Country Media Network 6/7)