Target: Justice Clarence Thomas
Goal: Praise Justice Clarence Thomas for emphasizing the importance of upholding treaties to protect tribal autonomy.
In a big win for tribal sovereignty, the United States Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of the Omaha tribe of Nebraska regarding a sales tax imposed reservation by leaders. In 2004, in order to deter the sale of alcohol on the reservation, the tribe decided to impose an alcohol control ordinance on seven liquor shops within reservation boundaries.
Several of these alcohol stores disagreed with the new tax, arguing that the tribe was acting outside of its limits, since they believed that a previous case diminished reservation boundaries. Justice Clarence Thomas emphasized that the tribe was within its rights and that no previous case acted to diminish reservation land limits.
Not only did this ruling secure tribal sovereignty, which is supposed to be guaranteed to every tribe by the U.S. government, but it set the standard for future skirmishes over land and tribal sovereignty. Justice Thomas strongly encouraged protection and retention of treaty promises that are often overlooked and ignored by the government. Other tribes across the country are going through the same painful process of fighting for federal treaties to be upheld, even though these treaties are like any other law and should not be up to interpretation every few years. Please sign this petition applauding Justice Thomas for rightfully and faithfully acting to implement justice for all populations.
Dear Justice Clarence Thomas,
I am writing this letter to you in a state of joyous gratitude and relief. Recently, your bench ruled in favor of the Omaha tribe of Nebraska in a disagreement concerning an alcohol tax imposed by reservation leaders. As you know, reservations and the treaties surrounding their existence are often challenged, changed, or ignored. By respecting treaties guaranteeing tribal autonomy, you acted to ensure the tribe’s sovereignty and right to implement certain legislation within their reservations.
By emphasizing the importance of allowing Native Americans their right to reservation borders and sovereignty, you set a precedent for future disagreement surrounding land and the rights of Native Americans on reservations. I am sure that your ruling will serve Native Americans well in the future, when they again face threats of invasion and acculturation. I want to thank you very much for making history in an increasingly positive way and standing up for a community that has been overlooked for the majority of its existence.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Xasartha