September 30, 2008

Greatest threat to sovereignty?

Cole:  Tribal governments under fire“What is the greatest current threat to tribal governmental sovereignty?”

There is no question in my mind what the answer is, and I respond by saying, “In this Congress and the next, tribes face the greatest threat to their sovereign governments that the U.S. Congress has attempted in decades: the so-called Employee Free Choice Act.”

As Americans, we cherish our right to vote in private when it comes to elections. So, too, it seems to me with the individual right to vote in a union election in private–-without some goon looking over our shoulder to make sure we vote “the right way.”
And:The bill will allow and encourage union bosses to use the National Labor Relations Board and federal courts to require Indian tribal governments to make public internal--even confidential--tribal documents. The NLRB, already hostile to the sovereignty of Indian tribes, would be allowed to interview and subpoena tribal employees and, incredibly, could prohibit the tribe from speaking with its own members if they happen to also be employees of that tribe! That doesn’t sound like “free choice” to me.

This threat is very real. As the centerpiece of the Democratic Party’s legislative agenda, this bill was the first major bill pushed by the Democratic Party leaders.
Comment:  When Cole talks about the National Labor Relations Board and federal courts, he means the conservative National Labor Relations Board and federal courts. The ones who have regularly ruled against tribes because of the conservative bias against Indians. All that would change under a Democratic president, presumably.

Not surprisingly, Cole's prescription is to vote for McCain. A McCain victory may stop this particular bill, but it'll ensure a conservative mandate at the National Labor Relations Board and in federal courts for another umpteen years. It'll ensure more Supreme Court justices in the hypocritical mold of Scalia, Thomas, Robertson, and Alito. You know, justices who are for states' rights and against judicial activism except when they're not.

Not convinced? Here's more on Obama vs. McCain and the Federal Judiciary:Consider what eight years of the Bush II Administration did to tribal interests, and add that to the 12 years of the Reagan and Bush I Administrations. Federal Indian law professors now recognize in general that 1986 or so was a major turning point in the success of tribal interests before the Supreme Court. From 1959 to 1986, tribal interests prevailed about 55-60 percent of the time before the Court, when the majority of the Court were liberals and centrists. Since then, they have lost more than 75 percent of the time. Seven of the nine current Justices are Republican appointees.Therefore, my prescription is to vote for Obama. He'll appoint liberal judges who will protect tribal sovereignty much better than conservative judges have.


dmarks said...

"Therefore, my prescription is to vote for Obama. He'll appoint liberal judges who will protect tribal sovereignty much better than conservative judges have. "

Except when tribal sovereignty comes in conflict with the demands of labor unions, as with this recent effort by unions to get rid of the secret ballot in union elections.

In "The Audacity of Hope", Sen. Obama names unions as the one special interest he does not mind being owned by/beholden to. SIEU-COPE comes to mind. I see their Obama campaign ads on TV all the time, and they are funded with political donations stolen from members who are made to give political donations against their will and rights.

Rob said...

Again, conservatives have made the most recent pro-union, anti-Indian rulings. It seems these conservatives dislike Native nations even more than they dislike unions.

At worst, an Obama administration will perpetuate the government's pro-union, anti-Indian bias. More likely, Obama will appoint officials who have more respect for tribal sovereignty than the ones in office now.

We know McCain wants to appoint conservative judges and conservative judges tend to rule against Indians. Logically speaking, therefore, Indians should vote for Obama.