President Trump’s most recent Supreme Court nominee, Justice Neil Gorsuch, has rocked the nation. He just made a major decision.
Breaking with his conservative colleagues on the court, Gorsuch joined Justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor, Breyer, and Kagan to rule in favor of a Native American man charged with off-season hunting in Wyoming.
Forrest Tahdooahnippah, an American Indian lawyer, said that Gorsuch “has marked himself as a friend and ally of American Indian tribes, a label that would unlikely have been applied to his predecessor.”
The defendant, Clayvin Herrera, claimed that a treaty between the U.S. and his tribe allowed him to hunt at his pleasure, even during
Wyoming argued that the treaty was invalidated once the state achieved statehood, however, the court’s left-leaning members and Gorsuch ruled otherwise.
Justice Sonja Sotomayor, in her majority opinion, said that “Congress ‘must clearly express’ any intent to abrogate Indian treaty rights.” The court effectively ruled that Indian treaties existing before statehood are still valid.
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