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Injustice everywhere

Dear Editor,

Martin Luther King wrote from his jail cell, “Injustice anywhere leads to injustice everywhere.” In America today, injustice can be defined in how much money you have to spend on lawyers and lobbyists. Injustice can be defined on America’s court system’s judges refusing to hear the people’s oral arguments in court cases. Injustice can be defined in America by a Nation within a Nation having the final say in new laws written, like the CSKT Compact. Why should Indian Tribes in the State of Montana have the final say, in laws in America and Montana. 1 - The United States of America is a sovereign Nation. Our Constitution trumps all laws before and after 1789. The Tribe and State should have passed this law after the State Water Court said it was legal, following all Federal and State Laws, then it should have been sent to the U.S. Congress for final approval. Two point nine billion dollars of tax money and new laws written, will affect all tax payers. The State of Montana passed this flawed law by changing rules to get the compact out of committee and not following the State’s constitution on the immunity issue, with a two-thirds vote of State legislature to give up its Montana immunity. 2 - The CSKT compact has not been deemed constitutional or legal; it’s not what they call “ripe” yet or passed by all branches of government. Legal challenges have not been filed yet. In the Montana Supreme Court case the FJBC brought to Helena involving a two-thirds vote for the State to give up immunity, the Montana Supreme Court refused to hear the Flathead Joint Board’s oral arguments. This way they could make their political decision; they wrote, “the two-thirds vote from the State legislature puts a cloud over the possibility of the CSKT compact’s passage in the US congress.” In effect this says the Montana Legislature does not have to follow the State Constitution on immunity … and what else? The same was true when the Ninth Circuit Court refused to hear oral argument in the turnover of Flathead Irrigation Project to the Irrigators it serves, just like the 1904, 1908, and 1948 laws dictate. Injustice everywhere.

Tim Orr
Mission District Commissioner
St. Ignatius

 

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